“ My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.”
- Steve McCurry
What is it about photography that draws us into its realm with such passion? Why do you take photos? What inspires you in a particular moment to take out your camera and capture an image?
So far, for me, a satisfactory answer has always seemed out of reach. I feel as if I am searching for something unknown along my photographic journey; as if this journey has some kind of purpose, but I just haven’t quite discovered it yet. Personally, I think that most people are searching for answers in life. Some find it in religion or philosophy, some in the act of helping others. Many people find it through their careers and work, or at least try to. Others search yet never find, and a few get lost along the way and find themselves somewhere totally different to where they intended.
My motivation to take photographs has encourage me to have adventures, see the world in a new, fresh way, and meet interesting people – all while creating something that is, at its best, totally unique. I love to travel, and because of photography I have the ability to record places and moments in time. Ever since I was a child I have been drawn to the far-flung corners of the world, especially the places far removed from my childhood home in Yorkshire. When I was young I wasn't fortunate enough to be able to travel abroad. Most of my friends did, but for my parents, holidays were a luxury they couldn’t afford. Not until my late teens did I get the opportunity to venture offshore, and since then I have been hooked on travel and the experience of recording those places in my own way. I am not motivated to try and emulate everyone else. In fact, I am inspired by ignoring convention, choosing to set forth on my own path. Perhaps this is my way of standing out, but I see it as just being myself.
I know that shooting a landscape brings a sense of balance into my life. It fulfils many of my needs and desires; namely, the need to build and create something. It’s a need to be closely in touch with those things in life that are real and natural. I think it’s a counterbalance to what can be a very artificial and unnatural world where we often live and work. Photography fills my drive to escape and enjoy some time out. It’s time that is exclusively personal, letting me indulge my yearning to wander, explore and discover.
Photographs are the universal language of our era. Everyone has hundreds, maybe thousands, accessible at a moment’s notice in their pocket. Unlike text, which requires more effort and concentration, an image tells a story all at once. The audience is swept around the image as the photographer wishes to direct them. Before I squeeze the trigger to take a shot, I imagine that scene on my wall. If the shot doesn’t tell a story, I turn round and seek another.
Motivation grants us the ability to create beautiful images of our own to share with the world. When you’re passionate about what you do, the images you create will gain magic and underlying beauty that few things in the world possess. For me, that’s the reason why I do what I do. The thrill, passion, and enjoyment of producing something truly mine is incredible, and a feeling that everyone, no matter what you choose to pursue, should have as part of their life.