I hate “tourist photos” this is nothing new. Do I take them, yes, for my own selfish reasons, but it always turns into an internal conflict. I take them for others, not for me. I take them because it is expected, because you must collect moments of your trip to show off to your family and friends. If you didn’t photograph the Washington Monument, the exact same way as millions before you, were you really there? Society says no, but the answer is yes. Unfortunately I am not brave enough to say no to this, to get others to understand that I hate taking photos that can easily be found via a google search. I hate adding to the noise, the worlds image overload. This is most likely why I am unimpressed by the majority of my Ireland photos, finding myself drawn instead to the moments that seem much more universal. The photographs I love are not of the beautiful countryside, those images fall incredibly short of capturing the Ireland I now see in my head, but instead of tiny moments unique to my own personal experience, the things I found that others had overlooked. I wanted to make pictures of my Ireland, not everyone elses’, not the Ireland everyone expects to see. This has become incredibly frustrating due to the fact that people keep asking to see my photographs. I know that is not what they really want to see; they don’t want to see the pictures I made, they want to see the google search images I took. That is not being a photographer, that is being a tourist. I am both, yes, but I am a tourist for me, not for everyone who wants to live out my adventures. That is how beautiful places become idealized and stereotyped; people aren’t allowing themselves to have their own experiences but instead the experience that is expected.
I am interested in the known, the familiar. That is what this project started off as, then it quickly morphed into an out of control mess attempting to be what others expected from me. No more, finally, I have begun to find home in these images, I see myself in them once again.
Here is a bit of what I’ve gotten into during this week of editing: photographs of Ireland that remind me of home.