Don’t worry about creating things that you think will be popular for a certain group of people—just take time to explore and document for yourself. Eventually you’ll find patterns in your work and your viewpoint will emerge on its own.
This is a refreshing, hopeful and liberating approach to getting started with photography. Compared to the never-ending grind of shooting weddings and senior portraits or real estate or whatever else there is out there, thoughtfully and consistently taking photos of what one sees allows the photographer to develop a much greater range.
I’m really into the idea of people’s life stories being recorded and documented, and how documentation has changed over time…I want to leave photos with context; photos that tell stories. I want to be able to leave things that people are going to find later, so that they can know something about our time.
Documenting life using photographs has been an interest of mine in some form for the past several years. The ability to make these photographs (or sets of photographs) tell a compelling story1 is perhaps a more essential skill than taking a photograph that is inherently unique and interesting through some combination of content and technique. Documenting one’s life provides a framework that helps to develop both of these skills.
Finally, the documentation approach is accessible to anybody with access to any camera.2