For a long time, traveling for me was all about the landscapes and wildlife or the buildings and landmarks. People were just… never really on my radar. Obviously there were always people around, but they were never the focus of my photography, aside from the obligatory tourist snapshots to prove that ‘hey, I’ve been here’. Morocco changed that. Morocco changed a lot of things.
The photo lessons themselves – the ones about composition and camera settings and all that jazz – those weren’t the most important lessons I took away from Morocco. What I learned in those photo lessons I could learn anywhere else. But what I learned from the people around me – whether it was my photography instructor, my guides, my peers, or just the people I met along the way – was different. I learned to challenge myself and try new things, to interact with and immerse myself in local culture and seek out experiences and opportunities, to seize the moment and not be afraid. I learned so much more than photography at that photo workshop – I learned about life.
I encountered plenty of conflicting philosophies about photography, to be sure. Some believed in creating a perfect moment, others believed in simply capturing it. Some saw photography as art, others saw it as truth. I thought I knew where I stood, but to be honest, I’m not sure I ever really did. What I do know is that I believe in capturing how I see the world. Whether that is the “truth” or not, that’s up for debate. But whatever it is, it’s my truth. I never set out to be a photojournalist, and I didn’t set out to be an artist either. All I wanted was to remember the moment. And that’s still what I want, and it will continue to be what I want. That much I know for sure.