Ideas come from readings, and from an intellectual curiosity about a people and a culture. Perhaps part of the reason why so much of mainstream photography is so derivative and repetitive is because photographers prefer to mimic rather than explore. Perhaps there is a fear that a new idea, a new thought may have to be transformed into a new approach and a new eye. All this is not easy to do.

To say that a photographer’s primary function is to simply take photographs is a complete misunderstanding of the title nowadays because the option to take a photo is at everyone’s disposal and what would eventually distinguish ones work from another is its storytelling mission.

Jeremy Cowart is one of those photographers that when he talks, I listen intently because very often he always comments on how he doesn’t really see himself as a photographer despite all the celebrity commercial work he does.

He’s a guy that has very deep interest on specific subjects and he just happens to have the technical expertise for using a camera. He consistently makes the point that if it weren’t for him showing you the type of enthusiasm and respect he has for causes such as his Help Portrait movement or Voices of Reconciliation, there would exist the possibility that we wouldn’t be talking about him.

So back to this quote. The name of the game now is not to see who has the better camera but to see who can tell a better story without regard to anything else. I think we’re all smart photographers. The goal now is to go out there and find something that’s more interesting than what people expect you to shoot.