Let’s talk photography

I grew up in an English speaking home, I wasn’t taught any other languages but I must say I regretfully wish I dove into my french class more. Sure I went and completed my education with a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design University, but unlike most of my friends who studied English at other universities, I was learning a whole other language at OCADU. I believe that through my four year degree I learned the language of art and more specifically photography. My eduction taught me to use my camera to communicate my experiences, emotions, my thoughts, and ideas to the world instead of words. I was now part of a visual culture, visual communications, I was asked to speak through my art, I had to learn a form of language if you will. If I accomplished that my peers and the art community would respond by picking up my visual cues. To create it successfully I had to examine body language, symbols, emotion, how one might read the story, or my message in a photograph. I had to learn to take my concept and communicate it in a refined fashion and not blatantly obvious- something with depth and apply some interest.

It took until my thesis year, ( four years) to really refine my skills as an artist and a professional photographer. So I was able to express my ideas through my art that allowed other photographers to understand what I was trying to convey. I challenged myself with tough subject matter that was emotional and asked to be honest and truthful in what I would try to depict in my thesis series of photos. When I did this, I realized this I really started to see more deeply into the pictures of my peers and started to see that we communicated to each other through the thoughts and ideas that we all set out to communicate in our photos. We,over four years collectively learned the language of art!

We looked at the location of the photos, the body language, the mood and subject to read the story and message. I began to read the pictures by the designed flow that each of my friends in class set  in their photos to allow me to follow the story within the photo and sometime in a series of photos.

Just like many of you, I grew up adoring images that spoke to me, who had a voice that called for me to take a closer look. Think right now of an image that you love, doesn’t it speak to you? It draws you in either with it’s story, it’s moment in time, it’s political position. It has a voice, it draws you in, it asks for you to engage in discourse- almost like that of a conversation.