I have never understood photographs and why people stand in front of cameras to be taken.
When I was younger, my mom called me and asked me in a serious tone, ‘Do you think you’re going to die?’ I replied in the negative and she asked again, ‘Are you sure nobody is telling you that you will die?’ ‘NO’ I replied.
‘So why don’t you like taking pictures? Only people who feel they will die soon don’t take pictures’
And with that, she made me succumb to my father’s incessant picture taking (he’s a super photographer in his spare time.)
I am now a photographer. I argue with myself sometimes that it’s my father’s genes in me that increased my propensity for photography. But deep down I know the truth. Here is why I’d rather stay behind the camera than in front of it:
1. I hate the atention: when one is the subject of a picture, the photographer and indeed any member of the world who gets a hold of the picture focuses their attention on you. It’s so dreadful to think about it.
2. Isn’t it awkward to just stand and smile? I don’t know. My best smiles are captured when I’m not looking. I like candid photography because it lays off all the pressure I have to deal with in posing.
3. I don’t want you to waste the space in you camera: film or digital… I care a lot about photographers and I look out for them. Bite me.
4. I am pro-tech and I believe strongly that cameras would exist which can read our thoughts and look deep into our psyche. No, thanks.
All these are the excuses I give. But deep down, beneath all my smart-talking and whatnot, I know the true reason I hate taking photographs. It is not a reason I am proud of as it is one which rests heavily on a foundation of crass selfie esteem. The question on my mind when I stand staring at a camera is, ‘Are my face, body and countenance worthy enough to be documented?’
So instead, I stand behind the camera and let the beauty come from within and flow to my works.