I fell into an obsession observing others because I needed to know there was still good left in this world. Yes, I know, that sounds negative. But it's the truth. I was on a mission for hope because I had none.
I studied people intensely for one year. People watching became a drug overnight. I took an interest in body language, kinesics and proxemics because I love the art of ballet, body movement, and I have always wanted to be a secret agent, like James Bond. Seriously.
The past year I walked the streets of NYC at all hours, mainly alone, just observing others. I sat, stood, walked for hours upon hours and miles upon miles a day (and night), just observing. My favorite hour is 3 a.m. when the rats flooded the alleys and the drunks stumbled out of bars. Yes, as strange it sounds to others, I would just sit or stand in the dark and observe with my camera at hand.
NYC and street shooting fulfilled something inside me I couldn't feel or find anywhere else. I felt like I was in a dream half the time, and I liked it there.
Street photography fell into my lap around the same time my heart and mind went apathetic and what a blessing that was. I didn't even know street shooting was a thing a year ago! it was a blessing because I had grown to become unemotional; I had zero concern or interest in anything; my candle blew out.
Street shooting was the only thing that brought some kind of feeling to the surface again. Because I learned to detach from life, I can't tell you what I felt connected too, or what the feeling was that came to the surface, but I knew it was my only tool for survival. Without it, I would have given up.
So, I used street photography to reinvent myself.
I knew I was dying inside. But I also knew the reason I quit drinking over two years ago was because I was dying inside then too. I needed to create a better version of myself and I needed time alone in solitude. I don’t think anyone knows who they are unless they spend an insane amount of time alone in solitude.
I have this unexplainable relationship with the universe, those who do too can only understand. But I knew walking the streets and visual journalism would one day help me feel something again.
Because of street photography, I have learned the power of observational learning and that observing reality is an essential tool. By observing others, I discovered myself, things and situations in a much deeper perspective than if I had with an emotional attachment or feeling. My foundation is more solid than ever before; I have a clearer understanding, and an enhanced perception with what is going on around me.
I am at a much greater place than I was one year ago. My life has changed in extraordinary ways because of street photography and the opportunities I have had. Though, I think there’s a huge part of me that will always search for hope.