I recently gave a gift of my photography to someone that I admire greatly. There was a time in the past when I never shared my photos with anyone and even now I share very little of it with anyone who is not a friend. I can count those who I have given gifts of it on one hand.
When I was younger, I experienced most of my life behind the lens of a camera. They attempt to “force” you to be social while at school and I have never been that comfortable in social situations. I’m not good at small talk, I don’t like being the center of attention in any situation and I’m not overly thrilled with surprises as I don’t do well with being put on the spot. I can do fairly well if I get the people around me drunk. I’m way too much of a control freak to do that myself but people find me much more witty if they are intoxicated. However, I discovered that you can pretend that you are being social by showing up to things with a camera while never having to directly interact with the situation. A camera is like a shield, you are there as an observer and not a participant.
When I left the church and religion at 19 and took an interest in paganism, my photography changed as well. It became an extension of my love of nature. You start to notice the subtle changes in colour and shapes inherent in nature. Taking pictures at that point became an extension of spirituality. I suppose that to some degree, even though I have become an atheist it still is. I still have that reverence for nature and the beauty and complexity of life that surrounds me. Now though, it comes from a much different and more rational viewpoint than it did before. But it still maintains its place as my needed creative outlet and maintains a rather personal place in my life.
My photography is how I see the world. Every snapshot is a moment in time and in space from my unique perspective. A photo remembers all the little things, long after you have forgotten everything.