Finding my “thing” wasn’t something I could force. I tried. I brainstormed and I made Pinterest boards. I copied other photographers’ work and I shot and shot and shot.
In a moment of voracity, I begged Ben Sasso this fall to teach me how to find my style, to effortlessly discover my “thing”. He answered vaguely (and perfectly): “just shoot what you love.”
Still being brand new in this intentional chasing of some undefined photographic dream, I had no idea what it was that I actually loved.
As with everything in my life, it was only after reflecting on almost a year of work and finding an undeniable pattern that I was able to conclude what my “thing” is. It’s intimacy. It’s relationships (with each other, with our surroundings). It’s discovery and affection.
And even more, it’s hands.
They hold. They guide. They caress. They hug. They lead. They protect.
They scratch. They feed. They greet. They point. They cook. They shake. They work. They earn. They carry. They grab. They lift. They paint. They touch. They feel. They tickle. They play. They wrap. They braid. They steady. They explore.
Hands are doers. Creators. Connectors. Relationship makers.
I’m certainly not the first photographer to subconsciously, or even consciously focus on hands. It isn’t some revelatory new and profound metaphor. Perhaps they’re even a cliche part of the body, like eyes described as two bottomless pools of deep blue ocean waters.
Even so, I don’t mind. This feels much deeper.