Before I touched a camera, I was given a mind and a pair of eyes. In collaboration, those things have given me perspective into the world around me – an extremely distinct perspective known only me. What my eyes see, my mind translates in a way that is very different than others. And in turn, my mind forces my eyes to see things under a different light than everyone else. While the process is not unique to me, the end result is anything but common to all. And when I get the opportunity to share that vision with others, to give people a glimpse into my perspective and alter their perspective, that is what fuels me.
There are two main things I do, in its broadest sense, when I pick up my camera: I create and I capture. The whole premise of an image is to steal a fraction of a second from an ever-moving, ever-changing world and freeze it for eternity. And truthfully, in this day and age everything can technically be captured. Anyone can pick up a camera and “capture” an image. My joy doesn’t come in the sheer act of the capture, but more so the content and story of it. I am thinking of the capture before it actually happens. I see the story unfolding, and then place myself in the position to freeze the moment that best highlights that situation. The capture is more of a validation that the vision, preparation and timing all came together perfectly.
To bring about something from nothing is an amazing process. To take a collection of unique and distinct objects, and combine them to create something different, something beautiful, and something beneficial is a goal. I look at the world and see light and darkness. I see colors and patterns. I see shapes and objects. What energizes me is taking these individual elements, and rearranging them to alter reality slightly and change another person’s perspective or understanding just enough to get a greater glimpse into how I view things. There is a sense of wonder and awe when a new perspective is revealed.
Pairing the creation and capture together pushes me to do more. It’s the driving force behind each set of images I put out there.
More than a photographer, I am a creative. I love to create. I love to build. I love to remix. I love to teach others to see things differently. My joy is not in simply taking beautiful or interesting pictures. My goal is to constantly create. The image is not the end goal. The image is proof to me that I was able to create and capture. And the reaction from those who view my images are proof that my vision is bringing a new perspective to others.
"Math Class" posts are a collection of articles by chicago wedding photographer Nate Mathai regarding both the creative and the technical sides of photography. You are permitted (and encouraged!) to share and redistribute this material.
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