Life is full of processes, some we know about, others happen and we only see the products. In my life I have spent a lot of time learning about what is going on behind the scenes. I find the process for a particular event adds a uniqueness to its product and that many times we are moving through life so fast that we are missing out on the key factors that are making our lives what they are.
The reality is that most processes go unnoticed, we just breeze through life enjoying things without regard to how they were produced. Take for instance a car, how much work, creativity, design and production goes into a car that we will drive for thousands of miles? How often do we think about that?
Growing up I was always the analytical and inquisitive in the family (I get this from my dad), never satisfied with the simple answers when I knew there was something more. I would look at a bridge and study it to see how it was put together, or I would take apart a computer to learn about it’s configuration and components (I dissected a Commodore 64, luckily I got it put back together). I think this is what attracts me so much to photojournalism.
Photojournalism is all about the process. It’s about putting the pieces together to share with the viewer what you are seeing, to share about the how of something in order to relay what is happening.
I love Autumn, the colors of the trees are changing, the air is cooling, winter is coming and its American football season. Recently my wife and I drove over to Boone, NC for a fall festival and fair. It was such a great time. The mountain air was clean and crisp, the sun was shining and the people were warm and inviting. We had a great time.
While there we came across a woman who was making Apple Butter in a kettle. It was quite a long process from start to finish. I stood there watching for a minute, taking it all in, then started looking around and seeing what all went into making it. The process was extensive, washing and peeling the apples, cutting them, soaking them, then cooking them for several hours while constantly agitating them.
I am always looking out for what the process is behind something, for me that is where the true story is. In photography, especially in photojournalism, we must be looking beyond our subject to see what the process has been to create this moment, many times the process will be more of a story than the moment.