When asked for an "Artist's Statement", I prefer to give a "Photographer's Statement". While I have had work recognized as "art", I leave any judgements of my work as "art" or me as an "artist" to others. I am content to simply describe myself as a photographer.
I have been shooting for over 35 years. This thing of shooting images all started at the age of 12 when my father gave me a hand-me-down camera prior to a family trip. This led to working for a professional studio at age 14 until I started college. Despite having never taken a class in photography or art, I was encouraged by a teacher at the age of 17 to enter work in a juried art exhibition for area high school students. The two images I submitted were awarded 1st and 3rd places. This was my first taste of the "art world"
I would continue the "art" exhibition thing in college but primarily to get a respite from the regimented life of the Virginia Military Institute instead of for any serious "art" purpose. VMI would allow me to leave to exhibit at a major outdoor art show which at the time was the largest show on the east coast. This took place in the spring. I participated because I just liked sitting out under the sun and saw it as an opportunity to meet people. I didn't realize that one was suppose to enter pieces for judging for various awards, purchase prizes, etc. until a juror came up to my little piece of art real estate and essentially informed me, while referring to a piece of mine; "if you enter it, it will win". She did go on to chastise me with a "you were suppose to enter it for judging this morning". The organizers gave me a check for $250 which was a BIG deal back in the early 80s. Because of the award, I was interviewed on a radio program. The interviewer starting asking me about my "inspiration" and "style" for which I had no answer. I essentially told him that I shot what I saw and found interesting. It was obvious I did not understand the "art world". After this, exhibiting would take a long hiatus due to life responsibilities.
In general and despite the digital tools I may use, I am a traditional photographer at heart and resist following the latest fads or trends when it comes to my serious photography and the "look" of the finished image. Why do I do this? Because fads or trends come and go but a "classic" look continues to have the same appeal many years later after it was originally shot. A fad or a trend can have a short shelf life and date a picture. It is not uncommon when looking back at pictures that used a trend of the day to think..."what were they thinking". I prefer my images to have a timeless quality to them. This all said however, I do strive to shoot images or do projects that are "different" and not the same old stuff routinely seen.
Aside from assignment shooting which I will take on if I find interesting, my personal photography has changed over the past number of years. Instead of just going out and shooting without any real direction with hopes of returning with some decent images as I once did, I have created and given myself creative assignments for more purposeful and focused type of personal shooting. My photography and creative energy has centered around shooting with a defined purpose in mind whether it is shooting a cohesive new body of work with the intention of exhibiting in a gallery or taking on projects that involve a large number of people. My photography has evolved from shooting individual shots to shooting a series of images with a common thread that ties them together.
Even though I do not understand the "art world" any more from when I was a kid, I have gotten back into exhibiting my work to the public. This exhibiting could range from the entry of work into juried all-media or photography exhibitions to showing my latest project as a solo exhibition.
In the same manner that I do not put limits on equipment I may use to produce an image you may see hanging on the wall, I do not limit myself to a particular subject. I capture people, places and things as illustrated on the site. Simply put ….....”I see….I shoot”