August 15, 2010
New York, NY
During interviews I am often asked what is my process. How do I really go about taking these pictures? Well, I don’t really have a process, at least not for WOK THE DOG. I walk into each market with cameras in hand and I watch. I watch, I observe, I wonder up and down the isle and I take the pictures that are compelling to me. I simply am open to what the market has to offer me. Sometimes it is all right there, up front and it overwhelms you with its generosity. Sometimes it is a little hidden and you have to really give it patience and time and it will open up to you. I don’t think too much about all the technical aspects of photography once I get there and open myself up to the day, to the market, to the town. I trust in my experience and that the mechanical, compositional aspects of my craft to be there for me when I need it. Which is not to say that there are not the random occasions in which I overlooked something and I fuck it up big time.
There are times when I walk out of the market and I really have no idea what I shot. I can’t really recall any one frame in great detail, I only know that I went through quiet a bit of film. So much of the time it feels like an out of body experience, something takes over and its not the uber logical left brained me anymore. I especially feel this way when I see my contact sheets and have nearly no recollection of really having taken that particular photo.
Thus if I must describe my process, then I would describe it as being open to the experience and trust that my craft will be there to support me.
Ten years as a freelancer yet I still have days where I freak out a little bit. Something happens to us when we are not in our studio creating work, when I don’t have a camera in my face and we try to exert control. Why are we unable to trust the process of life itself?
Yes, you should make those follow up calls and return those emails. Yes, you should apply for that grant and consider a residency program. Yes, you should do all of those tasks that the business aspect of your art demands of you. But what I am wondering is perhaps we should trust the process itself a little bit more when it comes to our lives and our business. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s, but freak out less, let go a little, be open and trust the process. Your craft is there to support you, why would life itself not be there to support you? Your life is the ultimate expression of your art. Why do we not treat it as such?
Tell me about your process of creating. Please share with me your experience of letting go and being open.