April Gaston. 23. San Rafael, CA
Describing my photography is a task I haven't until recently put much attention to. Since my grade school days of buying disposable cameras at Walgreens and carrying them around in my backpack, taking photos has always been something I feel uncontrollably drawn to. Once I upgraded to my first digital camera, a bulky Mavica with external floppy disk storage, I knew there was no going back. From there, I moved on to various point and shoot digital cameras and took pictures of...well, anything. Then came high school and my first course in fine art photography. I was officially hooked. I learned the art of film photography and got such a rush from developing and printing my own film.
Ever since, taking photos has been a part of my daily life, though I never thought of "what kind of photographer" I am. It wasn't until I gathered all my photos to put on this website that I realized what exactly I'm doing. As I watched the upload screen displaying lists of file names I realized that I had named all my photos based on where they were taken. This lead me to arrange them into galleries that reflected the place where they were taken. Sounds simple enough but I thought there was something to that. It made me think about my work in a children's museum where all the exhibits are "place based". They are meant to create a feeling for a specific location in the outside world so as the children can immerse themselves in, and interact with, the environment as if they were really there. That, I realized, is what I do with my photos. I am admittedly a collector (AKA pack rat), a hopeless romantic, a travel addict and generally just an experience junky. I think all these aspects of myself collide in my "place based" photography. My photos are there as my closest link to how a person, place, thing, space, experience felt.
I'm hoping that my photos can act as tiny, two-dimensional museum exhibits, immersing people in a certain environment and invoking in them a certain feeling, emotion, thought or experience.