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Robert Stewart

Robert Stewart


2012 The Barrel Climber Syrah

As an only child, I spent a lot of time with adults or on my own. While I was often welcomed into the fold and flow of the people around me, I found myself as an observer mostly. Eventually, around age 7 I asked my mom if I could have a camera to record memories, but looking back, maybe it was more to have a witness to life, another companion.

Observation proved itself to be a key element in the various dimensions of becoming a photographer. The truest and most valuable skill that has come from years of studying and working is an ability to look at things closely. I've noticed the depth and multitude of layers within all things, even those we see as simple. There can be so much to record in the most simple of objects or scenes. Colors, shapes, patterns, light, textures, emotions, etc. There is an abundance of inspiration in everyday moments. I began taking snapshots as a child and have rediscovered my fondness for the idea of recording moments in my daily life.

The term snapshot generally implies: a photograph taken by someone with no particular training or knowledge of technique. Look up snapshot in the dictionary and you will find that the term is borrowed from hunting, originally meaning "to shoot without aiming." As the well-known Kodak slogan that arrived with the "Brownie" went, "You press the button, we do the rest!" This invention by George Eastman loosened the grip on photography previously held by professionals, thus altering the way people photographed, and what photographs looked like. Imagine being a part of the arrival of the first handheld, personal camera and to experience the novelty of discovering you can capture and record what you see in front of you, and later return to it as a reminder of a specific time in your life. Snapshots create a moment of order for otherwise messy, unpredictable and flawed surroundings; visual narratives of our lives.

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