“Bring your personal experience into conversation”

The U-Book reading moment it was one of those ones I really felt I was sharing something with the other people in class. Someone with highest walls, someone with a sincere opening to others, people showed a little bit more about who they are and what has been going on in theyr minds in those first monts. And I was thinking that I just listened few people experiences, just the ones from people in my class. That’s why I was thinking to post my reading, hoping someone else decides to do the same.


My reflection started form a suggestion Joseph Rodriguez gave us during the Getting Close workshop. The tip was “Bring your personal experience when having a conversation with your subjects”. He was saying that we should carry with us our baggage of experience, of things we’ve done, things we’ve felt, things we’ve tried, things which ended to be a success or either a failure. Things we love, things we hate, things we believe in, things we hope will never happen. Things we’ve lost and things we’ve found. Things we’ve learned from the world, things we would like to teach him. And I was thinking that the most difficout thing in this, is to be aware of who we really are, where do we come from,which is our story, which are our believs, our fears, our hopes. Where are we going and where we were supposed to go.

Really knowing who you are is probably the hardest challenge for the ones who dream to be photographers. And also is the first challenge, the one everything else starts from. No way to start taking MY pictures without understanding before what kind of man I am, and bringing that man out with me when I go shooting.

Yes, photography is also a way to understand ourselves. Sometimes is a therapy to deal with our fears, sometimes a way to generate new questions when they start to desappear. Through the subjects of our works we can see past, and future, and we can experience such a wide range of human feelings and stories. This the hugest gift photography can give to the ones who live with it, into it, through it. Because of it sometimes, thanks to it. The best school you can imagine to study LIFE, sometimes better than life itself, because we can observe hundreds of different lives, look at them just a little bit from outside, just the space our lenses need to get in focus. Not that much, just that ittle distance that is necessary to understand, to be able to catch the sense of what we’re looking at.

This same distance, that I think is required to ensure respect to the story and to its characters, is the means through which we have this privileged panoramic on life. Far enough to contemplate it from an higher point, not enough to not feel ourselves a part of it, and let all this experience become a part of us and change our own inner human landscape.

Sorry for the bad english guys.

Alessandro Ghirelli

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