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.