on being better

monks climbing at sunrise

sunrise on Siem Reap, Cambodia

What does it mean? We don't get to know. Even if it means nothing, we don't get to know for sure that it means nothing. - Miranda July

A magazine called today asking about photographs from Cambodia, a country I visited in March of 2004. Looking at my photographs brought me back to a time before I really began earning a living as a photographer.

I remember sitting at my computer waiting for the phone to ring and feeling more than a little indignant that I wasn't getting hired to bring my unique talent and creative eye to assignments. In retrospect, it's a damn good thing I wasn't hired more. While I was learning my craft freelancing for the local weekly, I was consistently making some very bad photographs full of visual clichés and lacking in the lifeblood of great photos - moment, content and feeling.

But the other thing that hit me in looking at these photographs is that I still take the same kinds of photographs I took then, just better versions of them.