You should do this at least once in your photography journey: Photograph things (shape, moments, colours, or literally anything out there) that reflect the way you think or see this world.
For myself, I just realised it few weeks ago, when I looked back to my photo album. It turns out there are some photos that have “same type” or “same basic theme” that reflect my feeling: Living alone in big city.
I never planned to create a photo project (or series). The specific theme from all of these photos naturally come from what I feel and what I think. It reflects about how I see the world.
These photos are the accumulation of my work for the last 12 months. Apparently, my eyes and my mind automatically attract to create a photo in this certain way (minimalism about live alone in big city).
In this case: It is about how many many person out there try to survive alone in this big city (Jakarta). How they able to live alone, stay strong and keep moving forward despite got so many pressures from things around their life.
I “draw” this feeling by photograph a single subject that keep step forward despite surrounded by “emptiness” around him/her. I use negative space and few additional objects to help build the story about main subject that live alone in a city.
A little note: I do not (always) try to evoke sadness or depression, because I do not think myself that stay strong alone in big city is totally a misery. It could be a sign of strong determination. To have a better life by keep productive to achieve something, that they believe it will help them reach their dream. It is a sign of hope, even when they are living alone right now.
A typical life in a big city (from my mind): Independent and individual. Even if they surrounded by thousands of other people in CBD area, each person will have to confront and solve their own problem alone.
Of course, it is all about my general opinion, does not mean that all people in Jakarta is full of egoistic behaviour that truly do not care about other people. In fact: I found some great, friendly, kind, and strong people here that help me to keep evolve and stay sane here.
All of my photos here try to bring feel about individual life both physically and mentally. I am fully aware that create an emptiness in photograph not necessarily always about one subject surrounded by negative space. However, this is my preference and I just want to create a photo that honest to myself. A photo that I truly like myself without giving care to other person’s opinion.
Because I made these photos based on my honest feeling and decisive moments on the street, I realised that some photos may have weak technical aspects. However, my purpose is to show my true feeling about city that I lived for the past 8 years. For me, how an image can bring a certain feeling to audience is more important than technical aspects.
I do really encourage everyone to create photos that reflect how you see this world. It could be in positive or negative emotions, both are totally fine as long as it is the true feeling from your heart. Free yourself from any rules, just catch what attract your eyes and reflect what you feel.
That is all about my thought of create an honest photograph. Try to create this kind of photos yourself, find what you feel about things going around you, and create a photograph based on it.
Be strong and never stop shooting,