Memoir, The Library

I spent the better part my early years learning to capture moments on film and to see as a photojournalist. Now I can’t escape seeing this way and I don’t want to either. The reality is I enjoy it. I can see things in a way most people can’t. I have a different view, my own view, of the world. One that comes in fractions of a second.

It may seem odd but I set my cameras down and walked away from photojournalism almost twenty years ago, nevertheless throughout those camera-less years I continue to see and continue to record. Now I do it with words.

On a daily basis decisive moments are captured and processed with my eyes. As a photographer, I continued to capture the moments. As a writer, however, I let the moments dissipate and simmer and roll around in my head.

bona fide farm

Over the years, decisive moments switched from concrete images or snippets to ethereal feelings that turn and juxtapose the lives and scenes in front of me into lead sentences and paragraphs. I found myself using words to capture what is suggested, but often unseen, in decisive moments

Words allow me to capture the things photographs can’t. Actually it is more like the words complete the photographs I always want to take. I am pretty sure this is the reason I gave up defining myself only as a photographer. No matter how hard I tried I could never complete the story as I saw it because the pictures I was seeing didn’t exist and couldn’t exist without words.

When these two parts finally came together the images I was seeing could finally be captured. I could get at the whole story and tell it in a way that felt complete.  continue reading

By words and images. For me, it takes both to capture the context of a moment, all the thought and emotion around it and suggested by it.

As a writer and a photographer the two have become blended. One can’t exist without the other. They both have a place in story telling. While it may seem trite the photographic image lends truth to the story because it is a physical image of what writers and readers are seeing in their imagination. It is tangible proof that something happened that it didn’t just take place in their head.

Working on stories about food I am not so much looking for the one killer shot. The big-bang-Pulitzer-type image is not what the stories are about. I am documenting, sometimes in a purely documentary form and in others I use the photo essay. There may not seem to be a big difference but there is. I am not so much telling the story as keeping record of it which I think allows the images to become a deeper part of the words. Somehow it brings the two closer.


Soul Mates


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