“Regarding that “moment,” the idea for Journeys with the Messiah came to me in 2004 when I opened a gallery in Watercolor Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. It was a peaceful place and I thought we should make it more of a sanctuary where vacationers could come for a moment of peace. Then, a thought came to me, “What if all of the images on our walls were depictions of messages from the Bible.”
A Step Away
Over time, that idea grew. I thought about it, talked about it, but did nothing about it until late 2007 as I was about turn 60 in early 2008. I asked my wife, “What if I die I and I have not done this? God has trained me for 30 years; given me the talent, the vision and the financial resources; what excuse would I offer?” That was the moment we decided to put my career on hold and pursue this dream that I believe he placed on my heart.
Lighten The Load
The project was planned throughout 2008, photographed in late 2008 and released in the fall of 2009. I have not returned to my career as a fashion photographer and Journeys with the Messiah Foundation, Inc has just filed the documents for approval as a non-profit corporation.” – Michael Belk, Journeys with the Messiah – A Fashion Photographer Explores the Modern-day Relevance of Jesus
“When I saw the nuns, I thought it was an unusual group. I’ve never seen so many nuns together. That would make a nice shot. Then as I got close, it was difficult. I was being jostled. People were all around me. I have a Roloflex, and dangling. So, I had to be careful what the best shot I could get. It’s one shot I’ve always been proud of, because everything worked. Everything came together. And bang, the moment, period.” – Morrie Markoff
“If you love photography, shoot pictures. Keep shooting pictures. You’ll beging to notice a difference when you first started and two years later. Some people look, but they don’t see. Keep shooting pictures. That’s all.” – Morrie Markoff
Garry Winogrand‘s perfectly timed photo reminds me of the day I was photographing on the street and captured an unusual moment similar to his. See my image below Winogrand’s.
Some of the” first impression” feedback I’ve received on my image above is that I caught this guy just as he fell, crashing to the ground, as in he’s fallen from a building. I admit it does look like that at first glance. In reality he was heading my direction with his companions, suddenly stopping on the sidewalk right in front of me, where I was standing in an alcove, and started breakdancing – one reason the image lacks clarity – the element of surprise! Rather than delete the image because it wasn’t sharp, I focused on the authenticity of moment. It is one of my favorite street photography images.
If you want to get a deeper insight into street photography and take better photos, I feel it is very important to study the work of the street photographers who came before us and paved the way for the rest of us. Not only that, but reading the quotes and words by these influential street photographers is a great way to train your mind to take better photos as well. Below are some of my favorite street photography quotes that are concise, inspirational, and have influenced me in one way or another.”
“I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them.” – Bruce Gilden
After he unwound his tangled limbs and hopped up off the pavement, I got to know something about him, not as a subject but as a person. His name is Wanderer. He has a son by the name of Madison. He and his friends travel by box car around the country hopping off at towns along the way to leave their mark on the world – graffiti. I instantly liked him and his gang, who at first looked intimidating, but in reality turned out to be really sweet guys who shared a common passion. They were in no hurry to rush off, but hung around with me for a while talking with me about themselves as though we were friends reconnecting after a long absence and catching up. I suppose that to them, I was one of many people across the country that create a sense of community for them wherever they go… one moment at a time, connected by thousands of miles of track.