Alec Soth recently commented on his YouTube channel (and if you’re not already following Alec’s videos, you really should) that his impression of a photobook author was that she photographed with eyes wide open like a child.
I love that.
I notice my daughter (age 4) often still looking around in wonder at new sights and experiences. After the restrictions of the last year we rode a train together recently for the first time since early 2020. And she loved it.
She makes images too on her cheap little Chinese camera from Amazon. She photographs with abandon, only occasionally concerned with actually seeing the resulting images. She sees something that interests her, and she photographs it. Simple. No concerns of how a photograph ‘should’ be made, of composition or light or genre or expectations. Of language or interpretation.
Sometimes it will be a flower she likes, or a sign, or some colors, or a street. Just one photograph each time, that’s enough. Below are a couple of her recent images. I probably need to get her a better camera soon, not that she cares as long as it’s red.
I’d love to photograph more like a child sometimes. I hope I can teach her without her losing that wide-eyed wonder, and she’ll keep teaching me along the way.