William Eggleston & The Democratic Forest

"Fascinated by the commonplace, the author (William Eggleston's Guide) portrays in these 150 color photographs obdurately ordinary objects with a candor and respect for place brought into focus by a subtle sense of decline. Storefronts in East Tennessee, Mississippi parking lots and vehicles traveling through the great leveled spaces of Atlanta highways let us dwell in the familiar and mundane. These down-to-earth pictures tell their elegies in a muted voice, catching the eye with details: light and shade revive deteriorating brick and shape a roadside fruit stall and van into muscular bulk. Taken during the last decade, the photographs were shot "outdoors, nowhere, in nothing."

This idea changed my life. Not just how I take pictures. I take pictures to help me live my life and the idea of the democratic forest changed how I view all moments in my life & in turn I hope has informed my work. 

I am not even sure how much I enjoy photography. What I do like is feeling something when I see the work of others and then hope other people feel something when the mine. We live in a hyper-individualistic society that is crushing for me to be a part of it. I grew up talking to people. I did not stare at a screen and ignore the actual life happening around me.  With how things are now you do not have to technically relate with other people to live your life.  I do want to relate to other people, I just don't really know any who know me how I wish they could. It's just how it is. So if all I can do is share my photographs and hope there is some sort of relational value in that act, it's better than how things are now. People chasing money. That is how it is here. You are what you do and how much you make.

Anyway, this idea, from this book, it really changed my life and certainly my approach to photography.