Why Do You Photograph?

Iridescent Glow on Water Mount Rainier N.P. Washington by Jay Goodrich
Iridescent Glow on Water Mount Rainier N.P. Washington © Jay Goodrich

It’s a simple question isn’t it? I am interested to see what you have to say. In order to help you think of a response here is why I do it.

I was classically trained as an architect and in fact designed and built houses for 15 years. My love for photography began right out of college when after graduating, I moved directly to Colorado. Coming essentially from the bowels of New York City, or the “Tri-State Area”, I was dumbfounded by the natural beauty of where I had moved. The desire to share this beauty with everyone I knew back home became so overwhelming that I bought my first camera with my first paycheck. It wasn’t long after that my girlfriend at the time bought me a book–Light on the Land by Art Wolfe. Now the flood gates were completely opened and a journey of now close to 20 years began. What started as a weekend thing to highlight camping, backpacking, and cycling trips grew into something much, much larger.

I began creating snapshots and then progressed into something a bit more in-depth to see if I could create like that book I had been given. This lead to the life pursuit. I photograph now to highlight an image of the world. It may be the beauty of a sunset, the drama of skiing an unbelievably steep line, or just the way our society hangs out at an apartment building during a parade. I do try and sometimes succeed at diverging from the obvious, although sometimes is not often enough.

For the most part, I draw my inspiration from abstract painters, from architects, musicians, designers, and the like. I have found that I can translate many of those disciplines directly into photography. The power of the composition is becoming my mantra and I want it to be as fresh as possible. I now look back to my design background to produce more graphically produced compositions. I have found that knowledge base is giving me a more unique look at the world and it is fueling my personal creativity and inspiration unlike anything prior.

To sum it up, I guess I photograph to share what few thoughts bounce around in my head with the world; and possibly highlight a fresh perspective of how everything I see gets translated in the grey matter and then sent out there for you to see. At some point I am hoping to stumble upon greatness, or finally know enough to actually create it. Now tell me why you do it?

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