Sam Harris: Shoot What it Feels Like
Sam Harris speaks to Raj Lalwani about not to capture what something looks like, but instead, concentrate on the mood, feel, authenticity and your personal voice.
Several years ago, when I was photographing musicians, I would try to photograph the bands I was inspired by. I needed to feel the music. Instead of being obsessed by the visuality of things, I would always try to find an emotional connect.
Photography is a very personal journey. If I could take my camera in the shower, I would.
The Heart Dictates Our Creative Choices
The same philosophy continued when I went to the Amazon to document the tribes of the region. I went with a rather naïve preconceived notion, but when I saw the refugee camp in the area, it disturbed me a lot. I asked myself why I was there…the angst and disillusionment came through in the photographs.
Authenticity, Voice, Passion
Presently, my work has taken on a different route. I have been documenting the daily lives of my daughters growing up. I still want to convey feeling. I don’t want to show the viewer what it looks like—instead, I would rather convey what it feels like. It is not just about photographing people. One of my students loves shooting macros of flowers. While I personally find the topic mundane, her pictures stand above other work I have seen in the genre because she feels so much for the subject! To do this, you have to prepare to be very committed and push yourself. Most importantly, you need to be true to yourself, and this authenticity comes only when you combine your personal voice with a sense of passion.
About Sam Harris Sam Harris abandoned his erstwhile life of a photographer in the British music industry to pursue his love for travel. After his adventures in India, he moved to rural Australia, where he has been documenting the formative years of his two daughters. You can follow his work and views on Twitter (@samharrisphoto) or on his website samharrisphoto.com
Tags: Shooting Technique, Raj Lalwani, Documentary, Daily Life, Sam Harris, june 2012, Anniversary Issue, 15 Photographer's Secrets, Mood and Feel, Shoot What it Feels Like, Musicians, Emotional connect, Commitment to photography