I am a people watcher. I have this great photograph that we snapped in Paris while walking through the Place Des Voyges. I didn't notice the gentleman in the foreground when focusing on the archways but nevertheless, there he is. He brings a context to an architectural moment.
There is such an intense stare that even now when I walk through my living room where we have it displayed, the truth of the moment breaks me back to a sense of place.
I don't find this trivial in the slightest. Think of your most poignant memories. I am positive that in any one moment, only the truth remains. Details of the "noise" at the periphery falls away and all you envision is the last moment that you held your father's hand or the beauty of a deer crossing the lake just as the sun was rising.
I frequently observe commuters as they sit in the "ordinary", just getting from point A to point B. What might be an exciting trip to a new city for me is just their everyday experience. Headphones on, intently focused on newspapers, or staring out of windows there isn't much socialization or engagement nowadays. But what I do appreciate is the opportunity that exists when something unexpected breaks the siloed spaces.
A smile or an acknowledgment that we are all bearing witness to something even if it is a sudden glimpse of our humanity like a surprise a cappella song, kind gesture, or a few chords on a guitar.
The picture of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera was magical. I was walking through the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art when I turned abruptly and caught the "gaze" of Diego. For some reason I started to feel very emotional. It was one of those rare connections that proves you don't have to even be alive to trigger an organic experience if you are present in your art.
My point is to encourage all of us to create awareness around intention and "human to human" connection when we are translating a story whether it is through a photograph, a painting, a song, or words on the page.
Content has a much bigger role as we move into the new digital age. Granted there is a lot of noise and a gigantic filter might be a good solution but few voices ring as clear and focused as when they are informed by a cause and an innate passion. Look for those connections or better yet, create them. You won't have to look too far for a willing audience united around a story that needs to be told.