Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

A Love Letter

Mar 26, 2019 - Ricardo Nagaoka

I’m going to set aside any cynicism for the length of this post because as much as I ponder on my own issues and anxieties, it’s really only because I care so much about what the medium has done for me and countless of other folks. So here goes:

 

I love how photography has forced me to get out of my introverted self and out into the world. I love the thrill of meeting people you might have never approached otherwise. I love working throughout the day and finally getting the one image that sticks with you for days. I love seeing contact sheets or scrolling through digital images after one of those days you felt everything went right, or when you thought it all went wrong but you find that gem. I love conceptualizing an idea and seeing it come to fruition after months or even years of work. I love how meditative it can be to walk or drive around alone, simply making pictures, where all worry seems to vanish with the road you leave behind.

 

I love how photography can be incredibly egalitarian, and anyone with a phone can now indulge in this wonderful practice. I love the feeling of making prints, holding them, simply admiring at the physicality of this piece of paper with a slice of the world now a part of it. I love the eureka moment of finding an edit that finally works, especially after toiling away for months on end.

 

I love pouring over another artist’s work, being inspired by them, learning new perspectives, seeing images you’ve never even thought of making. I love how I can live far away from any major photographic center, yet I can still buy a photographer’s books and experience their work just as they intentioned. I love how photography has connected me to so many wonderful people out in the world, and taken me to places near and far. And I know, it’s so damn corny and sappy to say, but I really do love how photographic images affords us the privilege of experiencing how someone observes the world from their own eyes.

 

Photography has bestowed me a deep love for the infinite complexities of our world; that nothing is truly absolute; that asking questions is just as exciting as finding answers; and most important of all, it has taught me to be kind, patient, and understanding when it feels like we need it the most.