An important question every photographer has to ask themselves is what they essentially derive greatest pleasure from. While I absolutely love the social aspect of working with people, no matter where and in what situation, doing event and studio work is not exactly the sort of photography that I would describe as path setting, especially in the field that I'd like to embrace.
To me, meeting people, sharing their experiences and perspectives is what is most valuable. In many ways, photography would not be anything meaningful to me without these interactions. It is a means to immortalize the feelings and experiences of a particular moment and relive them in some way. The Japanese photographer and contemporary artist, Nobuyoshi Araki records everything and almost every living day through photographs. All the moments around him are captured as a means to help him remember those moments, because in essence, photography does that.
While I have no philosophical guidance in the way that Araki is driven for his photographs and in a way that many photographers are likewise driven in their respective fields, to me, it is the opportunity to re-live the lessons of meeting people. This sounds rather cheesy, yes, but in the end, it is the most meaningful aspect of photography to me. I see photography as a lens not just peering into the face of someone, but rather trying to capture their lives and experiences - all the things that they have been through upto that particular point as well as the their hopes and dreams. This is the reason documentary photography is so appealing to me.
Something about teaching photography is that to a large extent, you can see that to most people that you encounter, it is this experience that they wish to capture - this essence of immortalizing a moment shared with those near and dear to them. Whatever the case, in order for us to truly enjoy photography, we really need to find a personal place for it - one that resonates with our overall experience and encounters with the things that are most important to us. To some, that may be the process of creation in itself. To others, it might be the beauty of nature that they wish to preserve and remind themselves of the need for conservation and yet for others, it may be a perfectly placed curiosity on the little details of things.
Finding the photographer in each of us is a combination of both skill but also inspiration in doing the things that we absolutely love to do and involving photography as a part of that process.