by Bree Mason
I often get asked what it’s like traveling full time. The highs, the lows, the mundane. I always attribute my desire to keep going as a strong curiosity to explore and document what the world has to offer. Photographing is a large part of my drive. For me, the two are intrinsically intertwined. I cannot have one without the other, they do not make sense separate. When I lack inspiration photographically, I pick up and move on to a new place. If I feel worn out or disconnected to where I am, I go out and photograph.
To me, there’s no better feeling that arriving in a new city, fresh off of the bus, or plane, or whatever. I drop my bags at whichever hostel I’m staying in and immediately grab my camera. The first couple of days are spent wandering around, getting lost, and photographing. To me, there is no better way to connect to a new place than documenting what is around me. When the camera is held up to your face, this sort of magic happens. You see the world differently. You are no longer shy, or intimidated because you get this sort of sense of anonymity. Almost like an outsider peering into another world.
The architecture, weather, people, etc. all come into sharp focus, leading to a certain understanding that I don’t believe can fully be described or replicated. With music blasting in my ear, shuffling among crowds, twisting and turning through the city, that’s when I come alive. Mixtures of awe, excitement, inspiration, and gratitude envelope you. Even in quieter towns, with dirt roads and farm animals lounging around, this excitement is just as palpable.
Photographing has a way of connecting you with the world in a very unique way. You stop to analyze, contemplate, and appreciate. Each place has it’s own energy and vibrancy. In my photographs, I try to capture that, using different methods to evoke the feelings that I get when wandering around. This medium slows you down, and makes all of your sense more aware and present. Looking above, and below, slowly turning in circles, fully taking in your surroundings. To me, that’s also what traveling is about. Soaking up as much culture as possible. Figuring out how you play into the grand scheme, and how everywhere you’ve been is connected in some way.