One small word; one huge question. Why?
Until recently, if somebody had asked me why I love taking photographs my answer would simply have been, "Because I enjoy it". I didn't realise that it goes much deeper than that until Emma Case asked me the question. Her explanation of why it is so important to know why we do the things we do blew my mind as it had never occurred to me to question my simplistic response any further.
The question has now become so much more than why I love to take photographs and now encompasses every aspect of my photography; why I photograph a certain way, why I prefer to use a certain lens, why I place the subject in a certain way.
Why do I do what I do?!
This is my only answer.
This is a picture of my Grandma and I on holiday in Spain, taken by my Grandad. I was about three years old.
This is not just a picture, it is my memory.
When I look at this picture, not only do I remember the exact momement the picture was taken, I remember the whole holiday. This picture pulls me in and opens up my memory in a way only a picture can.
From looking at this picture 25 years on, I can remember the night this picture was taken, I can remember the restaurant where we ate, I can remember what I had for dinner (a big plate of french fries, which I thought were the greatest things I had ever eaten). I can remember the mint that was growing all around the restaurant and the cool breeze that blew the minty scent into the air. I can remember the exact thought that was going through my mind when this picture was taken; I'm too tired to smile. I can remember my Grandad's *too short* white shorts, brown legs and sandles. I can remember what my Grandma smelt like.
This then triggers my memory of the whole holiday. A swing on top of a hill overlooking the sea, my Grandad throwing me into the pool, a friendly waitress who I wanted to be my big sister, my red suitcase, a girl I met at the pool who I bossed around, my dummy that tasted of salt by the end of the holiday.
All that from one picture.
I want my photographs to be a trigger, to be the thing that makes somebody close their eyes and remember so vividly it feels as though they are reliving that moment. That's why.
If one person looks at one of my photographs 25 years after it was taken and the memory that is triggered is powerful enough to take that person back to the moment it was taken, to hear what was going on around them, to smell the scents that filled the air, I will be happy. That's why.