Automatic Documentation as Photography

In 2014, my brother and cousin and I went on a once in a lifetime trip. We had all gotten jobs and decided to go to the place we always dreamed about, Japan. My brother and cousin are Japanophiles and I was always down for adventure. Me being the photographer in the group, was charged with documenting the events and trip. 

I did a decent job taking photos, getting the touristy shots and pictures of us eating and being in a group. I documented the trip the in a way to help describe what we did and where we went. In other words, it was pretty boring and pretty basic. 

My cousin on the other hand had a much simpler way of documenting. Whenever he ate anything: a soda, soup or concoction from the street he took a picture of it. No matter how common or insignificant, he took a picture of the item and logged it.

When we got back home and looked at all of our pictures I was extremely jealous of my cousin's shots. What seemed less creative and simple at the time turned out to capture the trip in a more authentic and factual way. We could see what we ate, where we ate it and remember the stories about how we got there and felt. 

I've been trying to get better at shooting automatically and documenting things around me, starting a few series on items like: telephone poles, public payphone, beds I sleep in, good quotes and coffee cups. It makes shooting less of a creative task and more of a documentation routine. Although it's not creatively spectacular it's a way to make images that make you remember more of your days.

My cousin is a super smart guy and got the point of some trips is to not wait for an amazing moment to happen but to take a simple reminder of what happened that day so you could look back on it later. I'm glad I was able to share the trip with him and pick up that new skill. It's helped us create new stories and capture new memories.