My logo was created by a friend and we found ourselves reflecting on the fact that we know that we aren't experts in our hobby. However, we want to make our hobby our job. She enjoys creating for people and I love capturing people. There is a true power in seeing something and snapping it as you both envision. There is also power in capturing what I just see. We move so fast through our life that we fail to notice everything that is going on around us.
Gordan Parks was an artist when it came to slowing the world down and capturing what he saw.
You'll famously know Parks as the director of Shaft ("hotter than Bond, cooler than Bullitt"). But Parks' background goes beyond this. He routinely shot the American scenes as he saw it, which is still quite relevant today. His photos ranged from the American poor to the Tuskegee Airman to the civil rights. (Click here to see his archive)
I'm particularly inspired by Parks because he was self-taught, purchasing a camera from a pawn shop. He was interested in photography at a young age and felt he had a calling. My favorite quote by him, which is also on his foundation website, says:
"I SAW THAT THE CAMERA COULD BE A WEAPON AGAINST POVERTY, AGAINST RACISM, AGAINST ALL SORTS OF SOCIAL WRONGS. I KNEW AT THAT POINT I HAD TO HAVE A CAMERA."
All I hope for in this world is to make still my time here. Yes, I aim to capture people as they want to be seen but I truly hope that I can have as small an impact on my community as Gordon Parks had on this nation. It's not enough to just say you want to do something, you have to actually go out and make it happen.
Parks broke racial barriers in his day and unfortunately, we are still making snail-like progress as a black community. Where we consistently see America's dominant race prevail and take credit for a multitude of inventions, spaces, and artistry; the black community is still receiving firsts. For example, Lieutenant Madeline Swegle has been crowned the U.S. Navy's first black female fighter pilot.
But the year means nothing if we don't actively capture and make others confront what is clear.
In the comments below answer this question: What are your thoughts about being confronted with images that you would turn a blind eye to if you were in person in that space?