I came a long way in my approach to travel as it was during the last few years. Obviously, 2020 put an abrupt end to it all. All of a sudden my mantra became “work with what you have”, or better yet, improve it! Let’s face it, it was not a choice, it was a necessity. More on that later. It allowed me to evaluate my entire photo collection and to move away from essentially just collecting them and always looking to the next trip, to working with what I have, and distilling what I want, moving forward. It was a turning point when I settled, with intention, on telling stories. Not the overused, overhyped, catch all “storytelling” of today’s social media, but a thoughtful process of discovery, and often humbling learning with many dead ends along the way, to craft a compelling narrative through photos.
Looking back, I see a lot of intent bordering on desperation to capture the “the best off”, the most interesting to the widest audience, the most engaging. Even though I touted my travel posts as “off the beaten” path, they were anything but that. I was essentially chasing lists illustrated with photos delivered in a painfully condensed capsule posts, when my true calling was more of a moody wander (near and far) searching for stories. An unexpected help came earlier this year in a form of a book “The Photography Storytelling Workshop” by Welsh photographer Finn Beales. It broke down the mystery of telling stories, and validated my earlier search for something I knew existed, but could not quite articulate. Finn Beales, who brings a whole lot of talent and trained eye to process to begin with, also identifies other important components in building stories. I have found them to be part science, part craft, with a lot of determination and discipline added along the way. I have edited these previously unpublished 2019 photos below with this mindset. When I am finally able to walk these streets again, it will be all new adventure. True stories “off the beaten path”, unapologetically.