The Sartorialist's Visual Life

The Online Photographer this morning ran a piece about this video from Intel's Visual Life series, featuring Scott Schuman from The Sartorialist. I can't say I was familiar with Schuman before, but listening to him talk about his work and see how he works, it really resonated with me.

About a minute and a half in, he says this:

I feel very lucky to get to have part of my day leading a visual life. It takes X amount of time every day just to make the blog work, just to get everything going and get all the business of it done, but then the real joy of it is having those four or five hours a day to go out and just be in the world that you're in, see it, keep your eyes open and really relate to what you're seeing, react to what you're seeing.

Hearing that, it just clicked with me. That's exactly how I feel when I go out shooting, especially when I shoot street. There's a feeling of presentness, of groundedness, of connection and, yes, joy. Of just being thrilled to be in the world and get to see it and be a part of it.

It's also got me to thinking about my own approach to photography. The interesting thing about Schuman--and what makes his site so popular, I imagine--is that he's not focusing on photography; rather, he uses photography to focus on fashion. It's exactly that kind of particular point of view and direction that makes great artists interesting, and it's something that's definitely lacking from my work.

I've always suffered from a lack of focus. I'm interested in a lot of things. Even just within photography, there's no one subject or style that I like, no unifying theme to my work. I think that's a big part of what's holding me back artistically.