I had one of those moments recently when I felt my heart singing and I knew I’d made the right decision to apply to be a Raleigh Volunteer.
At The Photography Show, in Birmingham last week, I had the pleasure to listen to Steve McCurry talk about his work and life as a photographer, travelling around the world. This is the man who’s iconic image of an Afghan Girl, made me realise as a teenage, college student, that photography could be something special. I am still memorised by this image and the thought of creating something that reaches so many, is what drives many a photographer. (If you ever get the chance to learn about the impact Steve’s image of the girl had, it is worth a read.)
Listening to Steve talk about the back stories to his images, is what lights up for me, when I think about heading off to Costa Rica & Nicaragua to capture real life on expedition. If I thought for one moment, that any image I take, can have a bigger impact to help those we are going to work with, then I would be truly humbled.
The phrase on Steve’s website will be something I want to take away with me while working overseas.
“What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling.”
The evening of the Photography Show, myself and some friends got the incredible and unexpected opportunity to talk to Steve McCurry personally and I was a little bit star struck. A totally down to earth guy gave up ten minutes of his time to chat to us in a bar and we loved him for it. I asked him how he creates a connection with his subjects when there is no translator around and he gave the simple and obvious reply, of ‘just be yourself’. ‘Be charming, be open and they will want to help you.’ That’s the thing about photographing elsewhere in the world; people are simply open to helping and welcoming others in.
I am so looking forward to meeting all the communities and being welcomed in and in return, I will share what they would like the wider world to see.