In recent years I’ve gotten some recognition for my photography and a few amazing opportunities have come my way. The event that stands out most was attending the New York Times Portfolio Review in 2018. What I learned there changed how I saw the photo industry and the direction I wanted to go. One of the greatest things about photography is that there’s always something to learn. Being able to embrace that part of the process is important at any stage of your career.
I met with 6 editors from various publications and overall my work was well received. At that stage my portfolio was focused exclusively on urban landscape and gentrification in Los Angeles. Each reviewer had helpful advice for me but one woman asked a simple question in a way that stuck with me. She asked why there were no people in my photographs.
This was not a new question for me but it was the first time anyone had a reason why I should consider adding that element to my work. We talked about ways it could be done without changing my approach too much. I appreciated her honesty and our conversation resonated with me. So the next day, I decided to do something about it.
Street photography is the opposite of the quiet landscape compositions that I had become known for. It was also the only way I could imagine incorporating a human element into my style of documenting the city. So on my last Sunday in New York City, I started down the path to combining my documentary landscape work with street photography. It was a beautiful, spring day and the results from that day confirmed that this new approach had great potential. Now it was time to put in some work.
Check back next week for Part 2 of The Bigger Picture where I’ll share what I’ve learned over the past two years.