What Motivates you?

Photography as you probably know by now, is a bit of a passion for me. But one thing that I tend to gloss over is my passion for travel. It just so happens that I get a big kick out of combining both of them together. There is the obvious fact that going somewhere exotic and new fuels my imagination and provides an easy way to motivate me as well as focus my efforts.

I'd like to ask you: what motivates you to take pictures? What was it that made you get into photography?


In my own case, I had a bit of a crisis in my life in my late 20s. There I was, a serious musician (well, I thought so anyway), trying to write music. I spent all my hours writing and producing music, and then one day, I just had enough.

It was burn out.

I felt I needed to get out and see some daylight. Smell the flowers and just 'enjoy being'. I'd always been interested in certain photographers, but only from the aspect of being a viewer. It was only when I went on a trip somewhere that I got bitten badly. I found that traveling really opened up my life in many ways. The chance encounter with someone, the cultural differences between there, and here.

Being able to come home with memorable images was my initial intention when I took my camera with me, but now.... well, I think the motive has been blurred so much that I'm unclear if I travel now to make photos as my main objective, or whether the process of photography is used to heighten my travel experiences. I suspect it's a little of both.

Let me explain a bit further. It's all very well going somewhere to see a new country or culture, but when I have a camera with me, the whole dimension changes. My visual awareness becomes heightened and I see things that I probably wouldn't notice just being a general onlooker. So in that way, photography is a device I use to heighten my travel experiences. It puts me in situations that I wouldn't ordinarily be in as an average tourist. Getting up for sunrise, being in some remote part of a national park in Iceland at 3am, just me, a camera and my own thoughts for company, for example. This certainly adds another dimension and richness to my traveling experiences.

But on the other hand, I love photography. It's true that you don't have to go to exotic places to make great photos. If you are creative enough, it's possible to make great photos anywhere, anytime. But it has to be something that stirs an interest in you to make the images in the first place. You have to find something that gives you 'drive'. Travel really does this for me. Being in an alien landscape, or immersed in a culture that is very different from my own heightens my awareness and inspires me in such a way that it feeds my photography.

So for me, travel and photography are one and the same.

It's really important to find something that can drive your photography, and you will usually find that your photography will probably have a direct impact on it too.

So in your case, what is it that drives you to make pictures?