When I was in my teens, I was in a rock and roll band. The group was a bit more than a garage quintet. We played shows. We had a van and made t-shirts. We rubbed elbows with well known national acts and shared the stage with artists as crazy as 2 Live Crew. I loved spending time with the guys in the band, the camaraderie. I loved collaborating on creation. I got off on the process of it all.
What I loved most about being in a band was the moment we walked onto a stage and picked up our instruments. As soon as a microphone or guitar was in hand, nothing else existed. Nothing else mattered. On stage, I experienced what some call "flow."
Sadly, many of us never experience this kind of elation, the kind of happiness experienced only when engaged in the activity we were placed on the earth to do. After exiting the band in 2002, I found it difficult to recreate the experience of flow, of profound joy. Until I picked up a camera...
When I started shooting in 2009, I did not expect to find a new hobby. I didn't expect to find a new passion or career. I simply bought a camera to take better pictures on vacation. Though I soon discovered that when I was behind a body and lens I was in heaven, on a different plane of existence where earthly rules ceased to exist. I again found a flow experience.
Reflecting on this makes me think of others and their joys. I think of the happiness I experience when taking pictures of various subjects. I also think about how my craft also serves as my escape. Perhaps if we each devoted our lives to the experiences that bring us the most happiness, we would have a world full of satisfied, joyful individuals.
Award winning photographer based in Tokyo, Japan. Specializing in portrait photography, he shoots a variety of portraiture, editorial, event, and commercial photography assignments. Andy is a husband, father, and lover of fried food.