3 minute read

Collin McAdoo

I will be 18 in October and I’m from Delaware County, Ohio. USA. Five years ago when Instagram was an insignificant, up-and-coming app, I began taking pictures on my iPod. Things escalated slowly at first, and then something clicked. After a certain point, of which I could not pinpoint if asked, I just started taking pictures I could feel when I looked at them. That was a turning point for me. It made me think about maybe doing this for the rest of my life.

The response I’ve gotten over the past 2-3 years has been very reassuring. I wouldn’t necessarily say confidence boosting, because there are still plenty of moments I feel insecure and vulnerable about my photos (I never know how people are going to react), but I’d say that the photographic community has honed in my spectrum of creativity. It helps to know what people think, even when their opinions supposedly doesn’t matter. People have told me that my photographs are emotional and shit, but I had always assumed that that meant it inspired an emotional response in them: something unfamiliar or irregular. I didn’t even know (until recently, maybe?) that people “related” to my work, to be honest. I’d rather people not “relate” to my work, because then they’d be feeling themselves through my photograph, whereas I want them to feel my photograph through themselves. I know I do not ever want to connect so well with an artist that I would prefer them to another; I want just fragments of the ones I can feel temporarily apart of.

I couldn’t tell you where I draw my inspiration if I tried. I go with the flow; I work backwards. My photos typically develop after they’ve happened. I rarely have a plan. I am sometimes hit with moments of inspiration, but I’ve found that going out and shooting on a whim, what works best for me. I kind of get caught up in my own head while I’m just walking around with my camera. No coherent thoughts, just reactions. I don’t know if my work could be categorized as a reflection of my subconscious in general so much as a combination of my conscious thought and subconscious memory. Each one is an accident, but I know the plants I put in my picture determine the picture’s mood, for sure. I have never really thought a lot about why I use nature so much in my photographs. It’s just something I do; I find myself connecting with it, which is weird because I’m not a huge nature person. I think nature is something humans have branched away from. I just can’t find myself getting physically absorbed into all the details. I’m more about observing, not interacting (or entangling.) I get a rush when I connect with my photographs. I could go out and take 100 pictures a day but I will only connect with very few of them. It’s rare, it’s hard to explain, and it’s something I have no control of. The connections are usually short lived, only lasting a couple days or a week, but it keeps me moving.

I’m still trying to understand pop culture, really. I’m trying to figure out why things are the way they are, but nothing ever makes very much sense. I think pop culture today is a result of too many people not thinking all at once. I do not believe that our generation is degenerate though, not even a little bit. If anything I feel as if this generation is an improvement over previous generations. Just as previous generations have always proved more developed and capable to their predecessors. I think the belief that this generation is lesser than the last is an idea formulated by members of the older group. I would definitely agree that much of the way we act today may seem questionable and shallow and foolish, but this generation is accelerating quickly and efficiently through an era that will literally reinvent humanity. We are adapting, and that is something older generations are collectively afraid of.