When I see the term ‘travel photography’, I think of bright images of tourist attractions, or serene scenes of perfect beaches with crisp white sand and sparkling water. This kind of travel photography is beautiful and feeds my wanderlust, but it isn’t what I mean when I talk about my own travel photography.
For me, my travel photography acts more like a photo diary of my trip. A record of my adventure. A glimpse of life in that place, at precisely that time. And I’ve gotten in the habit of doing this just about every time I travel.
I’m not sure how much of my site you’ve perused, but I’m somewhat obsessed with documenting life. Hence my meticulous documentation of my daughter’s childhood (here’s to hoping I don’t scar her for life). But my documentary obsession doesn’t stop with her.
It has spilled over into the surroundings I witness everyday. The places we shop or eat, clothes we wear, and the way interact with others. I try to document almost everything I observe. Because I know that what seems like ‘life as usual’ now, won’t always be so. Everything we see is temporary. The details distinguish us from our ancestors, but they also are usually the first to quietly drift away into oblivion.
Do I look like a crazy person whipping out my camera in the grocery store or in a restaurant? Probably.
But one day, perhaps, I might have a grandchild who will want to see what life was like for me as a young woman, long before she existed. One day, she might be just as fascinated looking at my old photos, as I once was, thumbing through my own grandmother’s cracked leather photo albums full of vintage dresses and long forgotten friends.
I watch, notice, and photograph, for this future; a future that may never be, but motivates and inspires me nonetheless. A future that enables me to see life through a different lens, with the same wonder and fascination we with which we often see the past.