Open heart, open mind, open eyes

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I've been thinking about how hard it is to answer the question, "What kinds of things do you photograph?" I always come up with something to say, but it never feels quite right (even though I've been answering this question for 25+ years).

I had a little epiphany the other day. I realized the reason it's a hard question is because it's all about the content - and I'm never on the hunt for specific subjects. Even after I've made the images, I wouldn't say they're about their content. I'm looking for something that feels so much more important than that: light that makes my breath catch in my throat, a feeling of mystery, visual poetry, depth of emotion, a sense of the sacred. I turn a bend on a path and see a gorgeous red pomegranate in a thicket of bare branches, glowing on a hillside in Bosnia...I hold out my hand to participate in the scene, because the light is just so pure and lovely...I make a self portrait that expresses something like fragility, strength, and the beauty of impermanence...and I realize my sweater matches the scene perfectly? Holy moly - it's a little slice of magic. THAT'S what I'm looking for - that's what I'm staying open for.

Open heart, open mind, open eyes. I never know when magic will happen, what it will look like, or what subjects will be involved - and that's part of the profound beauty of the process, you know? That's what makes me fall in love with photography over and over again.