Photo Notes: The Photographer's Companion
The Photographers Companion
I was in Perpignan France for Visa Pour L’Image, years ago, and an older, very famous photographer was giving me a few minutes of his time. “Look, photography is great,” he said, “But make sure you write everything down.”
Luckily for me, I was ahead on this particular idea. I’ve been keeping a notebook, not a journal per say, but just a book, for years and years. I carry this book with me, all day, everyday, and can’t imagine going anywhere without it.
I write down my lists, ideas, thoughts, etc, but I also will detail conversations, events, happenings, observations, etc, and you have no idea how handy this can be.
First of all, you remember far more of what you write down than what you try to memorize. You think you are going to remember the conversations, the details, but things can fade quickly and having these notes can be critical.
I think keeping a book also forces you to confront what you have seen and to slow down enough to figure out what happened. It makes you recollect and reflect.
So, I’ve included a sample of one of my books, this one a craft brown, moleskin notebook. I have used many, many different kinds of books, but this one tends to be a very nice size and easy to carry. The photo you see is a 5×5 print to give you an example of the book size.
What I do is take my current work, edit it, then print the selects and keep them in the books to have somewhat of a visual look at what I’m doing at the moment. These books for me are not art, not even close, and believe me I have friends who also keep books which are magnificent pieces of stand-alone artwork. I’m not in that category. The most important aspect for me is the writing, which at times is like torture, but at this point, writing like this is crucial to my being able to function. Not sure why but I know it to be so.