Vital, essential, necessary, brain food, soul feeder, I have no words to explain how photography is important to me. I started to shoot two years ago, just a little after my best friend died, suddenly. I am not sure there is a direct link; I think it just came like this, with no specific reason, like you start something new by accident. I used to have one of those random cheap digital cameras, but one day it failed; I had to replace it by another. Why I Take Pictures?
One of my friends had a reflex camera and I liked the quality of the photography (it was due to the depth of field actually). I decided to buy a camera, not necessarily a reflex, but something a little expensive compared to my previous one. I finally ended buying a hybrid camera as it sounded practical, and also because it was mentioned this was made for street photography – which meaning I had no clue at that time.
The second one was to found what I call my photo buddy. It was through a social network where people can organize events in which you can join if you like the idea. Let’s call her Maria; Maria has a strong personality; active, dominative, in the right sense, while I am more passive. This is how it works between us. We spent now, I think, hundreds of hours together shooting the streets. Something flies away, something else comes instead; my friend past, a new friend came; music (I used to be a music junkie) stopped, and photography arrived.
It’s hard to me how to explain why it is so important in my life. I just know that when I go shooting, I forget everything else. It is my stress relief, my soul feeder. I suffer also from depression but not when I photograph with my buddy; we shoot, we discuss photography, life, whatever. I am just addicted to it now, that’s for me the best anti-depressor of all, the best cure I could ever find. It is an addiction but I don’t feel it negatively; I embrace it instead like a priest embracing his god and his faith in him, like any addicted to his drug, his precious, his life.
Maria asked me to write for her blog about the reasons I shoot; this is a real challenge for me as I don’t talk much, don’t ever write, but this time I was asked 3,000 characters, 3,000, come on! It is just so hard but at the same time very exciting and challenging. I can be selfish and just talk about me, my issues and my addiction to photography.
Closed, fat, passive as I said, depressed about all and everything despite having a wonderful wife and kid. That’s me. But photography goes beyond all of these, beyond my surroundings and me. With photography I can finally found peace. Peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of soul. On the other hand, if some day, some time, I shoot and I don’t have a good shot, or what I consider good, I feel even more depressed. Photography is relieving but can be painful also. That’s a great lesson of life, I think.
I don’t know how long it will last, I hope for the moment for the rest of my miserable life. That ‘s also how I see my photography: dark, dirty, simple, but full of details at the same time. I shoot with a Ricoh GR with the high contrast black and white preset, that fits perfectly my state of mind which I can translate into an image, cure myself from the everyday pain by shooting one moment that I freeze into a piece of me. My peace.