I wonder who I am…
There’s something that I’ve been thinking racently. Who the heck am I? I wonder if I can find myself through my camera. Jim Nachtwey, who is the person I most respect said “If I respect others and be accepted by them, I can accept myself. I found not only the world but also myself through the camera. ” When did I start photography? When I was 21 year old, I went to the Philippines with my friends to visit a NGO that helps street children. Although I didn’t have DSLR, I had a compact digital camera and took hundreds of pictures during my stay. I think I might’ve been already interesterested in photography at that time. Then I went to Afghanistan only because I was curious and wanted to know what was going on there. It was 6 months later from the trip to the Philippines and I still didn’t have a DSLR. What I had was a Panasonic’s small digital camera, which has 28mm wide lense. Umm…looks like I’ve liked wide lenses since at that time. And I met a Japanese photographer who changed my life, I think. We hang out together and I think while I unconsiously looked at what he was doing with his big Canon’s 5D, I fell in love with a camera because he looked so cool with it! As soon as I came back to Japan, I started looking forward to the information about DSLR and bought my first DSLR Canon’s 30D, which I still sometimes use it. I studied how to use it, reading magazines and the instruction manual. Then I went back to Afghanistan two more times and also went to some other Asian countries.
Now, when I look back my experience, I might’ve been interested in Journalism and documentary from the outset. And I’ve believed that this is what I want to do. There’s no doubt about that. But for some reason, I just sometimes think “Who am I?” Did I photograph the stories or the pictures that tell me who I am. Did I take pictures that define my personality, character and inside my heart? Teachers say that my pictures are good. But… I mean…I wonder if my pictures are telling my feeling as well. Am I putting my emotions into pictures? To be honest, I am not sure. I hope I am. Maybe this is challenge to me and if I am able to become a photographer who able to put emotions and myself into my Visual Journalism and Documentary works, it means I’m a great photographer.
I think photography is like a jigsaw puzzle. Single images are mere pieces of something. What more important is a big picture. Although it might become two or three decades from now…as I have tons of life experiences and body of work as a photographer, I might realize and find myself in it. Life is a jorney without a map. Let’s look for treasure, believing a compass of your heart….