In the 1930s, Leica revolutionised the world of photography by introducing cameras that could be used on the move, radically changing our view of the world through photographic images, and bringing us something that, still now, is invaluable: The Story.
Mobile photography has changed even further the approach to this artistic field, creating yet another photographic language, different from those before. The road ahead is already outlined, providing a glimpse of what is to come: ‘wearable’ photography, in other words, the integration of the shutter with the natural movement of the body (which will change the way we see the world for the fourth time).
The story is perhaps one of the less immediate elements in this form of expression, one that requires more careful planning (I am not a photo reporter), especially on a platform such as Instagram, which is based on the idea of the instant sharing of personal daily life.
Over the years, my personal choice has been to focus on a particular way of thinking, and share it online, giving less importance to the instantaneousness of the moment.
Engaging the people who follow me, with a logical thread; using photography with the words to explain why that particular image, or the significance behind a portrait (my favourite form of photography), within a timeline, and therefore the context.
Since 2013, this need to engage, which I find ever more frequently on Instagram, as well as other platforms (see Exposure, for example), led me to meet more and more people, with the objective of sharing not only online but, above all, offline, through light, spoken words, through personal experience, emotions. Because this is one of the innovative things I find in mobile photography when applied to social platforms, such as Instagram: the sharing of life’s experiences, in between pictures.
As a great lover of portraits, I found it easy to get involved in taking portraits of other photographers I had met online, whose photography I admired, by meeting up and spending an afternoon or a few days together. I will never forget my recent, brief experience in Los Angeles.
I’d been following a few photographers from the SoCal area (South California) and we had been exchanging positive comments of reciprocal admiration through Instagram. So, when I was in Los Angeles for work, it was easy for me to meet up with some of them (unfortunately, not all of them), such as Ravi Vora (in the photo above), who took me to eat sushi with other guys I didn’t know, and that even Ravi hadn’t ever met in person before, such as Adonis. Sitting around that table, we all had one quality in common: an inquisitive mind.
And it is completely normal, in places such as this, to share brief experiences of exploration, often at dawn, before the world awakes. At at time when the light changes in just a few minutes, losing that sharp clarity typical only of that brief period of the day.
However, in my opinion, the subject becomes interesting when this approach to shared experiences (and being able to make a story of it, your personal story) comes naturally not in travels to far-off places, but in your daily life. Is it not your daily life that is the longest journey, the one from which you shouldn’t try to run away?
Telling the story of even just a few days, through the portraits of people you met, the places explored and the feelings you experienced; I believe that it is one of the most interesting aspects of photography, of mobile photography and of Instagram photography, today.
It’s not common in Italy, not even amongst the young generations (of which I am not a member), to meet strangers through the fact that you admire their photography. I think it is amazing to have photography as an attribute, in terms of a sense of belonging, something that gets you not only out of the house, but also out of your comfort zone.
Simone Bramante // Brahmino
Digital Creative Director / Photographer