Why do you take pictures?

This is why I take pictures. I'd like to know why you take pictures.

Over the past years in school I've struggled with teachers and students who felt it was necessary for everything to have some kind of deep conceptual meaning behind it. I couldn't put any of my work on the walls without being ask whether it was conceptually driven and if so, what that concept was. I never had a clear idea of what were those ideas that grounded my pictures and I had such a hard time finding them under such pressure from my peers and the institution. I thought maybe my work was simply just not conceptual in any way.

Maybe its a matter of the way most photographers work today; most people feel like they need to work on "projects" or thematic explorations that provide them with guidelines under which they can photograph with a clear direction. I think that works for most people, it works for me now, but it didn't work for me two years ago. I just wanted to take pictures of things I was attracted to; after doing this for a while I started identifying subtle constants that showed up in my work both stylistically and conceptually. For some people the concept finds the picture and for some the picture finds the concept. For me was the latter.

So last weekend my family comes to see my current show and none of them have any kind of art background. My uncle looks at a picture and says "Why did you take this picture? what made you frame it this way and not any other way? Of the infinite amount of ways you could have photographed this subject, why this frame?" I realized no one had ever asked me that before. Now I feel like I've been able to develop a conceptual framework for my pictures to exist within so I figured answering that question would be easy. But my answer was "It just felt right"

I quickly realized that that is why I take pictures, because it feels right, because things need to be photographed when I feel it is right to photograph them. No matter what project I'm working on or what ideas are driving my picture making, I always photograph because it feels right and then later it all falls into place because it was all photographed for the same reason. The pictures find the concept and the pictures are taken because my instinct told me it was necessary to take the picture.

So why do you take pictures?