A simple question

I have a simple question to ask you:  If you could photograph one thing, anywhere in the world, what would it be?

I posted this question to Twitter and got some great responses.  Some said it would be their kids, others chose exotic places.  Some chose to reconnect with places that brought back memories from their childhood.

I found the spectrum of responses fascinating.  Almost everyone came at the question from an emotional level – from deep within their heart rather than a business perspective.

It’s a simple question that can bring up many more, which is the best kind.

If that’s the most important thing to you, what’s keeping you from pursuing it with all your heart?

Imagine you’re there – how would you photograph it?

How would you convey the emotion that it stirred in you?

I’m a research-aholic, so I’m constantly dreaming of and researching places I’d like to photograph.  Right now I’m trying to balance that curiosity with how the resulting photos would fit within my portfolio (or expand it).  Do I return to someplace I love and go deeper or do I attempt to quench that thirst for new experiences?

To me, this is the fun part.  The whole marketing side of things, dealing with galleries, etc, is all well and good and enables the rest of it, but the dreaming…ahh, the dreaming.





  1. Mark, at the beginning of the year I started a personal project to “remember” places from my childhood. I’ve been using texture overlays to give the photographs a slightly less clean feel. I wanted them to feel like old memories. I’ve got a lot more to photograph before I’m done, but this has really made me focus and given my work a purpose.

    Thanks for sharing,


  2. I’ve thought about this one and I still have no answer. I’ve not travelled very much at all, and it’s impossible to say as I have little idea of what’s out there (vicarious travelling doesn’t count).

    But I will say, that I’ve yet to consider going somewhere to shoot it. The shooting is a byproduct of my ingestation of new experiences – satisfaction of curiosity, a method to study something with, a way for my addled brain to deeply focus on something.

    So i probably couldn’t tell you how I’d shoot whatever/wherever it is, even if i did have an answer, just that I’d take a bloody long time to shoot it to satisfaction.

  3. Great question, Mark. A radio station had a Bucket List contest going on a few months back. I had entered with my dream of photographing an NFL game with a field pass and full gear. It’s something that very few people get access to.

  4. If it’s the only possible picture in the world that you can take, it must be equal to a memory that you want to keep in your mind but you are not sure you can, so you make into a picture. So in this respect it’s totally personal and depends on what you are most scared about losing your memory of. Definitely not an exotic place that probably doesn’t have much personal meaning to you. Kids? They grow and it’s impossible and unfair if the single picture you can take will be of one of their life stages – since you’ll be picking one over the other potential ones. I guess if I had this choice, I’d want the impossible: go back in time and photograph people or a place that I feel are slipping away from my memory, like my grandparents.

  5. Mark, the answer to your question is simple for me. I love Montana and Wyoming and could spend a lifetime photographing everything from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone to all things Big Sky. Being able to hike and capture the endless and ever changing landscapes there would be a dream come true for me. I need to hit the lottery so I can spend time there simply enjoying my art while being fully present and enjoying every minute of my day. I can’t imagine anything better.


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