What if all of our photographs were gifts?

Hello friend, today I wanted to talk about what photographs mean, why are they important to us, and what makes them valuable?

What if every photograph we made we gave away to a friend, colleague, or partner? Would that change the way you take photographs? For me creating art is first and foremost an act that I do to express how I feel about the world. If my final print doesn’t convey the message that I want to convey, or isn’t a strong enough image then I’m throwing it away. But the images that I feel are strong and convey how I felt at the time of clicking the shutter, then I feel as though it’s my responsibility to put that image into the world. This is because these things deserve to be remembered. Life in Newfoundland could not be farther away from the “limelight” of pop culture. In a world where it’s fashionable to go to New York and be among millions of people I think we need to appreciate the pockets of human civilization that still have small tight knit communities. These kinds of communities may not exist forever. It may go the way of the hunter gatherer, lost in time, replaced with a more efficient city lifestyle.

Eugene Atget is a photographer that truly inspires me. He spent the latter part of his life documenting the parts of Paris that still had a Victorian style of architecture. His photographs are interesting because they’re both valuable documents and works of art. I think he’s one of the best artists that came out of the 20th century although almost all of his subject matter belonged to the 18th and 19th century. I want my portfolio of Newfoundland images to be like Atget’s in Paris. Creating works of art from the subject matter of small towns. Although my images of Newfoundland lean more towards the artistic than the documentary side of the coin, I still feel as though my images are a document of a point in time where this kind of lifestyle still exists, where small cities can still exist. Perhaps my fear of the small tight knit community going the way of the hunter-gatherer is motivated by an irrational fear and people will always choose this kind of lifestyle. After all, there are already lots people that not only want to live in Newfoundland but also feel as though there’s no better place to live.

Well that was quite a digression, back to photography being a gift. Would you change your photographs if you knew that one of your friends was going to hang the image on the wall for the rest of their life? Would you work harder to make the best god damn photograph you can? I think in order to be a good artist you need to have a strong sense of curation, choosing what work goes into the world, and you also need to realize that other people are going to see your work in an entirely different light. Nobody's going to see my images the way that I do, and that’s okay. Actually it’s one of the greatest things about visual art, It speaks differently to everyone.

If you're living in the Corner Brook area don't forget that this Saturday September 30th is Nuit 150+ a public art fair where I will be projecting some my photographs! I am super excited to be presenting my work among all of the great artists. There's going to be tons of people presenting and performing their work so come out, say hello, and have a great time!