— Joel Meyerowitz
I think that it would be the same thing I would say to someone who is older and more experienced if this question came up. It seems to me that there’s a moment when you press the shutter release on the camera when the person you are, the person holding the camera, says yes. Every time you take a picture, you’re saying yes to what you see. There should be a degree of consciousness about who you are in the world at that moment, a kind of integrated consciousness. It’s not blind luck, so if one can find what it is that makes you conscious, what gives you the pleasure of being alive at that moment, I feel that is what leads you to your own identity. Because in the long run, your individual identity will be revealed by the strength of the photographs you make in one year, ten years, 15 years—there’s a string. They’re like little jewels on the string and they carry all the messages that you were excited by when the world spoke to you. I think that’s what happens and I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself. Somehow you have that gasp come over you—you think, Oh, oh, now! You raise the camera and maybe the thing has gone by now or maybe it’s just unfolding in front of you and you intercept it at the right moment. That right moment is your moment of being conscious. So I would say to young artists that are beginning, try to understand when you’re fully conscious and accept your identity being awakened by the world around you. If you listen to that, you’ll have a singular vision—it will be your vision.
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