When I was at University a flyer came to my hands that there was a photography exhibition in the town where I was studying. It was named “Um Silêncio Interior: os retratos de Henri Cartier- Bresson” – in english: “An Inner Silence: the portraits of Henri Cartier-Bresson” and it featured around one hundred photos taken between 1931 and 1999 in Europe and in the USA.
With nothing better to do me and an old time friend decided to go take a look. And it was marvelous, I was delighted at the ability of this one man to capture and freeze in time stories and emotions. The photos were black and white but he didn’t need color to allow us to travel to that moment or to introduce us that person he was photographing.
The name Cartier-Bresson remained in my head for the coming months. He inspired me to pick up my cheap digital camera and go out and shoot.
But I sucked. My photos were terrible (well, they still are) and it didn’t take much for my friends to make fun of them (of me). So I put my beloved camera back in the drawer and accepted that I had no talent.
Nonetheless, Cartier-Bresson and his portraits became eternal in my memories and it still remains a goal of mine to capture spontaneity and authenticity as well as he did. I know, that’s way too ambitious, but we must have somewhere to run to.
In 2012, I joined a mastermind group after attending a personal development course. We had to share our dreams and turn them into goals with deadlines and a step by step plan. Photography showed up in my brainstorming session and my group pushed me to gain confidence, upgrade to a DSLR and start shooting again no matter the results.
What about you? What/who got you started? What motivates you to keep going?