I believe that as a photographer it's essential to have sources of inspiration. Starting out as a photographer I had one major influence, Alan Schaller. Having discovered his work, I was instantly hooked and tried my best to replicate his "style". Through his unique perspective I was able to learn the technical skills that were necessary to achieve such photos. It was until then that I discovered the works of Joel Meyerowitz that I realized that there were more to just abstract black and white, silhouettes and shadows, and geometry (which was pretty much most of what Alan's work was composed of).
//Photos by Alan Schaller
I discovered through Joel's work that there were also quirky and spontaneous moments to be found to the streets. Discovering his work led me to discover more opportunities on the streets and that there is more to see for those who are willing to do what it takes to see it. Since then, I also saw that the world was more than just black and white. The world was now filled stories and surprises.
To those who are looking for inspiration, I hope this quick thought is the sign for you to expose yourself to the work of more artists and to not refine yourself on just one. Because you never know when you'll connect to someone else's work unless you see them yourself.
A good way to do this is through photography books. One of the recent books I have read was actually Joel's book called How I Make Photographs Published in 2020. The book is Joel's narrative his decades of photographic experience all compressed into 20 "bite-sized" lessons. Through this book, not only was I exposed to his photographs, but also his thought process and how he learned from his mistakes. A quote from the book goes "As a conscious, thinking person, trust your passions feelings. Don't hesitate, because in photography, hesitation is loss, and every picture you lose is a wound." [Realizations - March 14, 2021]