Photography is the perfect entry point to the arts. It’s at your fingertips and can bring you everywhere you want to go.
My first dream job was to pursue photography.
I’m a member of GenX, technically. I was born in 1978. That means I spent my childhood in the 1980s watching Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers.
A prevailing theme from those programs was that I could be whatever I wanted to be. What do you want to be when you grow up? That was a common refrain.
Later, in the 90s, as I planned to attend college, my mom asked, what do you want to study? Aka – what do you want to be? My dad asked, how are you going to make money? Gotta love dads.
What I really wanted to be was a photographer. My cousin was a photographer and got to travel around the country for “work” and shoot pictures. To me he got paid to go vacation.
That’s what I wanted. I wanted to get paid to go on vacation. Hence my love for photography was born. Had I been born a millennial I probably would’ve aspired to be an influencer. Same idea. Money for nothing and chicks for free, right?
I did pursue photography and other interests – like writing and travel and sports – and indirectly built a career around all of it. It brought me to all 50 states and over 20 countries. I got paid to go on vacation. And now have a lifetime of memories preserved forever to prove it. Mission accomplished.
Photography is a unique art form. It’s the most literal capture of the visions observed through the human eye. The eye is the best camera. A perfect instrument for articulating and capturing light, depth of field, focus, action and stillness. The camera was originally invented in the 19th Century. For almost 150 years technology has driven its evolution, all with the goal of replicating what the eye sees naturally. In some cases, even enhancing it.
For this reason, photography is the most accessible art form for the common man. It’s the reason we all have cameras on our phones. Anyone can take a photo to capture a moment and freeze a frame. A genuine attempt to stop time.
So many art forms exist in the human condition, from painting to poetry, sculpture to symphony – imagination illuminates these creative forms.
Yet photography is a great place to start. It’s something we can do with little to no training but also offers endless opportunities for creativity, expression and inspiration.
RECOMMENDED: Take Online Photography Lessons
With that in mind we here at Artistic Fuel wish to focus on photography with extra energy. Moreover, we believe it’s a medium that everyone can relate to. Our plan is to feature friends and artists that utilize and leverage photography to create and capture their own vision of life.
Photography as fuel
So, look for more to come from us in the photography realm. As we explore the art form in its essence, its technology and its artisans.
For example, we recently profiled an amazing Washington-based photographer, Scott Sullivan, that used the medium to see the world and set the table.
Setting the table of life takes a bit of preparation. Aptly arranging the dishes and silverware requires knowledge of who’s attending. Enjoying the meal involves a love of food, friends and family.
Creating photography is much the same. It requires preparation, knowledge and love. It’s something we can all take part in. From the 1% to the 100%.
In short, photography is for the masses but it’s also for the maestro.
So stay tuned, more to come.
James C. Sullivan is a guitarist, singer and long-time journalist having worked at publications including Snowboarder Magazine and USA Today. He recently returned to his roots in New England after a decade in California because cold winters and cloudy days inspire more creativity.