I decided that I would stop and look - and then make environmental portraits of individuals doing what they do to put food on the table. In doing so, I discovered that people are often very proud to share their work, or to demonstrate their craft - so it was simply a matter of asking permission to observe, ask questions, and make photographs. By making portraits that connect the subject with their work I have answered one of the two basic questions: What do you do for a living? The question remains whether they are enduring, or embracing their work.
Of course, I am not exempt from this analysis Although photography is now a major part of my life - I am passionate, absorbed, and committed - I have also worked as an architect for 31 years. Knowing my vocation and avocation tells you a fair amount about me. If I were to share my taste in music, literature, or food, that would add useful details - but nothing describes me quite as much as my work.
It’s interesting that creatives (photographers, painters, writers, filmmakers, etc.) often refer to their “work”- meaning their creative endeavors. In this regard “work” is elevated to a creative calling, a vocation, or a passion. It is neither work nor play. It can be the source of great personal satisfaction, or frustration.
Of course, there are as many photos to make as there is work that is being done. It is a project that could continue indefinitely, as long as I am interested in doing the work - so to speak.
Text from LensWork 110 - Jan / Fev 2014
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