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A Moment is Forever | Photography Stories

A Moment is Forever | Photography Stories
 

Award wining Travel Photographer & Writer Mark Sissons documents lives, dignity and culture through the lens

“I’m a shy person by nature and always found it daunting to approach strangers while traveling. But I wanted to feel their experience and so it was out of my desire to speak and connnect with people that I first picked up a camera.”

Shyness probably won’t be your first impression of award winning photojournalist Mark Sissons. His photos are affectionate and contemplative and distinguished by the intimacy he captures in his subjects. Mark’s work has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News and many other newspapers and magazines. Mark has no formal photographic training but with a DSLR in hand he changes from being an introvert into an extrovert.

“To me, the most important element that gives an image life doesn’t emerge from any studied technique or artistic expertise. Rather, it comes out of a sense of story. I use my camera to capture the moment. My moment and their moment. By participating willingly and naturally in the process, I find people I meet on my travels are much prouder of the results. Together, we share the experience of me documenting their lives. Our connection then becomes our moment in time together.”

Mark’s approach to photography is simple. He believes that you have to be a participant in a shot, not just an observer. This is a great lesson for all travelers. Wandering the world with a camera is not enough. If you want to capture that special moment then you have to invest a little of yourself. You too have to be in that moment. This is a message Re:Source Media imparts to all of our cinematographers, photographers, writers and producers. To properly capture the essence of the the world you have to play an active role in it. As our President Kevin Fox always says, “You can’t take a shot, you have to make a shot.” Therefore producing great television or creating an iconic travel photograph requires a leap of faith.

As Mark recounts, “the best shots come from investing your time, your energy and your trust.” This approach works equally well when documenting people or wildlife. “My favorite shot was the one that I took in Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve last year. In it, a cheetah mother and her two cubs watch me intently from the safety of their lair deep inside a thicket. I had encountered her the day before, just after arriving in the park on a flight from Nairobi. What looks fierce from the outside is in fact filled with warmth and tenderness- and I fell in love instantly. I call it beauty from the eye of the beast. It’s a love story, really.”

Ultimately the essence of travel photography is a human desire to preserve memories and share stories with family and friends back home. And so as Mark so eloquent puts it,”The only way you’ll be able to capture a story is to be a part of one. So just get out there.”

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