You Don't Choose Photography: Photography Chooses You

Street Photography: You Don't Choose Photography. Photography Chooses You.

"I believe that your true path in life, your authentic way of being,
that ray of light that's only yours,
cannot be found, made up, constructed, planned.
It always finds you."

A few years ago, I was strolling in the streets and alleys of Le Marais, one of my favorite areas of Paris. It was early fall, and that beautiful, magical light of dusk was flirting with the pavement. It had just stopped raining, and there was a fresh breeze that carried the irresistible smells and sounds of slow, easy Paris hours.

As I was walking, suddenly I saw a couple in front of me that just made me stop and stare. They were gorgeous together, both in their early thirties, both blond and dressed in black, perfectly chique in a Parisian way. They were trying to light each other's cigarette, which was hard to do in the breeze. They stood so close they became one, they laughed, their hands and arms intertwined. The lovely dusk light behind them, they basked in the reflections of the wet pavement.

It was a moment of unrepeatable, true intimacy. Of beauty. Of an eternal love story. In that moment, no words were necessary. The image was overwhelmingly magnificent in its simplicity.

I wished I could capture it. I wished I could make it last forever. I wished that moment, right there and then, that story, could freeze in time. For the beautiful lovers. For myself. For the world to see. But I didn't have my camera on me. I felt the energy of the moment, I was immersed in it, but I had no way of stopping it from slipping through my fingers.

At that time, I had been playing with photography for a while, still learning, still seeing it as an art form I loved and enjoyed, as a creative pastime, but not necessarily as my life path. That moment in Paris changed everything.

I can still see the photograph in my mind, it's burned there forever. I can talk about the image, I can write about it, but I will never be able to show it to you, share it with you, so you can feel what I felt, see what I saw, go back in time and be there with me. It still haunts me.

At that very moment I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to flow with the rhythm of the streets, freeze time, and make those moments of awe eternal. I wanted to be a silent witness of simple, yet amazingly beautiful stories that would otherwise be left unsaid, forgotten.

I believe that your true path in life, your authentic way of being, that ray of light that's only yours, cannot be found, made up, constructed, planned. It always finds you. It finds a way into your life, into your heart. First, it's just a silent whisper. If you're willing to stop and listen, it turns into a powerful stream of love that carries you toward unimaginable adventures, that changes your life forever, that changes you.