I believe that being a photographer is a calling to create a lasting memory of a moment in time for everyone to enjoy. It doesn’t matter whether I am photographing a sporting event, a high school senior, an expectant mother or a fashion model, creating this visual memory, utilizing the best means I have available, is my ultimate goal.
I have been fortunate enough in my career to have been given access to events and locations where others are not permitted, or where it is inconvenient for other people to be. In those instances, I have a responsibility to create photographic images that allow the viewer to experience the scene before me through my eyes, via my camera. Oftentimes, the easiest way of fulfilling a photography job is to stop when the images are good enough. But I do not believe in “good enough.” With every photo I make, I strive to make it better than the one before it. A photographer who was very influential to me in the early stages of my career once said something that I believe wholeheartedly: “Today, I am only trying to be better than one photographer — me, yesterday.”
As I have grown throughout the years as a photographer, I have found myself craving more out of myself creatively. What I once considered to be the best I had to offer is now only “good enough.” With that revelation, I have chosen to limit the types of photographic assignments I pursue to only those in which I am challenged to be a better photographer than I was the day before.
Part of that challenge is to create images that portray the personalities of my subjects on a much deeper level. I must always be asking myself, “What makes this person, these people, tick—at their core, what are they all about—and what must I do in order to capture that in a photograph?”
That challenge means that I will not pursue many of the photographic assignments that I might have accepted before. This will allow me to give maximum attention to each subject, to learn about them, and to do my very best to create images that accurately portray those characteristics that make him or her a unique individual.
And always, regardless of who or what is my subject, I will strive to not settle for “good enough,” and to instead strive to be a better photographer than I was yesterday.