I learnt that I wanted to speak with photographs in 2002. Really speak. In an articulate and sophisticated way about how I felt and the rapture and humanity going on around me… the everything and the nothing. I realised that it wasn’t enough for the photograph to be vernacular.
It was summer, I was in Paris and my father had given me a Canon Powershot G3 to photograph my debut independent voyage on foreign soil. I wandered down the Seine, through the Tuileries and criss-crossed the Pont des Arts during those long and meandering hours on the hazy cusp of sundown. It was my first day away from home, without the guidance of my parents. I photographed incessantly, the scenes around me, the people (timidly and from afar), the landscapes (much bolder and sadly predictable) and occasionally myself (black and white and in the nude – as you do when you begin thinking of yourself as an artist). I stumbled through my images and clumsily composed frames that I was mildly interested in, but mostly around my misconceptions of what makes a good photograph.
8 years later and I find myself again in Paris. It is the same time of year, the same time of day and I wander a similar path to that of 2002. This time I have learnt better how to articulate. I am closer to knowing what I want to say and I know how to begin saying it. I confront, with each frame, the myriad of decisions I didn’t even know mattered when I was 22, that lead up to the final pressing and releasing of the shutter. I know how to woo the people whose faces I am captivated by and the way to frame a landscape that I want to remark on. I have begun to understand my tools. Paris saw the beginning of this process, the shy introduction to my coming-of-age as a photographer.
Now perhaps, I am more the tenacious teenager – bolder, unwisely cockier and still so damned eager to take on everything the world can throw at me, broken bones, grazed knees and all.