It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. Today I’m preparing for a trip without the van. I’ll be headed to the USA later this week to impart some knowledge at Russell Brown’s Rock & Roll Reunion, then I’m headed to Texas for a few weeks to immerse myself in creativity and adventure with Mark Heaps. It’s this topic that I want to touch on today.
I shoot travel, but I’ve shot a range of subjects over the years. This process began when I first picked up a ‘proper’ camera at 14 years old. Just like 99.9% of photographers, I shot everything. We often criticise this process and it results in endless jokes. Everyone has shot flowers, everyone has tried editing with selective colour, and everyone has taken a portrait, somewhere along the line. This is all part of the process of figuring out what our subject matter is, and it leads on to figuring out what our style is.
It’s a combination of these two things that determines the photographer we are, and it shouldn’t only be part of the initial journey. Finding inspiration is a dynamic thing and it’s important that it continues.
I set out on a project several years ago, and it remains fairly hidden to this day. I didn’t have a lot of confidence – I was quite introverted. We know that’s changed now. In order to build my confidence and simultaneously enhance my photographic skill I decided to walk around London and approach strangers, asking them a series of 5 questions and taking their portrait. I called it ‘The Cast Of London’ and it went a long way to helping me as a photographer, and as a person. I found that it gave me a lot of inspiration, not only with my camera gear but with my perspective of humanity. I hadn’t been living in London for long and I’d grown up in a completely different environment.
This is just one example of combining inspiration with furthering our skillset. Now, nothing inspires me more than finding a brand new location and getting out there, finding a way to shoot it differently and give the image my own vision. Photos have an incredible power of providing happiness. They can make the photographer happy in most cases, but they also make newlyweds happy, they make proud parents happy, and they can bring back fond memories of places and events. This is an inspirational effect in itself, and I would love for you to dig deep and work out what inspires you in your photography, particularly in the moments when it can be overwhelming and creativity starts to dry up. It happens to all of us, and a little inspiration can go a very long way.