I like taking people’s pictures.
Which is weird, sort of. Because when photography was merely a hobby for me, I hardly ever made portraits. I took pictures of things: landscapes, found objects, abstracts, whatever. I think I might have been a little timid. But then I “discovered” lighting. I say “discovered” because I’ve been using lighting all along: you can’t take a picture in absolute darkness, after all! But it was all ‘found light’. Whatever light that happened to be laying around, I used. When I first started using my newfound knowledge of flash and natural light, it was easiest to try out on the local guinea pigs (my family). And turns out I enjoyed it. Immensely! And fortunately I seem to be pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.
And I have a natural affinity with children, which is something I’ve come to discover as I’ve made a second career out of portrait photography. I can be pretty goofy and silly, which kids – oddly enough – seem to like. But so idiotic that parents and grownups are put off. Heck, I even seem to get along with most difficult of breeds: teenagers.
I like taking pictures of people so much, that when I’m contemplating taking pictures for my own work (as opposed to a client), I think about who I’m going to photograph, rather than what. Mind you, I do still take photos of landscapes and shadows and things lying in the road (as long as they’re not people lying in the road). But I do enjoy people.
In my former life, I was in the music business. In fact, I went to school for it. I play the piano, sort of. I play the guitar and bass, barely. But mostly, I played the computer. I have a degree in Music Production and Engineering, if you can believe such exists. I studied how to record people, basically. I had a few different jobs in the music business, and even had a long, if not stellar, career as a recording artist and record company mogul. I made techno and electronic dance music under the name ‘The Rip Off Artist’, among other pseudonyms, and got to tour Europe, Japan and other places. I’ve had ten albums out, none of which you’ve heard, and something like over 100 tracks released. None of which you’ve heard.
Then one day, I ran out of music. Well maybe not all in one day, but it feels like that now, looking back. It just dissipated into thin air. I tried holding on, tried breaking into the pop and hip hop markets. Tried recording other artists, tried writing pop songs…to no avail.
And meanwhile, I discovered photography. One day soon, I’ll describe the process of how I went from tuneless musician to portrait photographer. But not now. Remind me though.