Photographing what you love

Updated on July 6, 2021 in Photography
9 on September 19, 2018

I’ve seen many photographers talk about figuring out your “voice” as a photographer in addition to finding subject matter that fills your cup creatively.  My mentor said I should photograph what I love looking at, and I think that is so true.  I know what kinds of images I want to make but the problem I run into is the means especially as someone who can’t just travel all the time to find those subjects.  Here, I’ll tell you what subject matter really excites me.  I live in the Pacific Northwest and last summer British Columbia got some really nasty forest fires.  My wife and I were up in BC visiting family and on the way home we drove by some of the aftermath.  WOW.  Being there and seeing that was life changing. Seeing families rummage through the remains was heavy and gut wrenching.  I got to document (not officially) some of that and get some really stunning textures and scenes that told that story. It was amazing and an experience that I will never forget. That got me thinking, what about visiting the katrina aftermath in New Orleans?  Even though it’s long over, there are so many abandoned houses and buildings with things still left as people left them when they abandoned them.  I would love to go there but I am not a professional reporter nor do I have an official assignment to make images from there so traveling there just for that when photography is my hobby is challenging.  I love textures and patterns and abandoned buildings, lines, architecture, landscapes, extraordinary events etc.  How do I find these sort of subjects where I am?  Or do I just save up my pennies to go to New Orleans and chase the low hanging fruit even when it’s far away?  PS I am a film shooter.  

Thanks in advance for any wisdom on this. 

 
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0 on September 20, 2018

Perhaps look for an urban exploration Facebook group for your area? I know exploring old and abandoned buildings has become more popular in recent years. I’m not sure about your corner of the PNW, but it seems like every city has old abandoned properties. Even a local paranormal group might be a good place to get suggestions. Ghost stories and old buildings seem to go hand in hand.

I’d also suggest using Google Street View to search for nearby buildings that interest you. I’ve had a good amount of luck with that. AND of course, talk to people. That’s still the best way to learn about your area.

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