Photograph © William Eggleston/Eggleston Artist Trust
Sunday, I went to see the Eggleston show at LACMA. Sigh. Loved it. Discovering William Eggleston’s work when I was in college was mind-blowing for me. The Democratic Forest has probably informed my perspective and my photography more than any other book I own. (The exception or tie for first place would be Irving Penn’s Passage, but that one had more of an effect on my portraiture and commercial work.) Reading Eggelston’s writing at the end of that book changed my life. Those few paragraphs made everything I questioned about my natural sensibility as a photographer seem unimportant. It allowed me to feel ok shooting whatever I felt like shooting. To this day, I acknowledge that my personal work or landscape work or whatever you want to call it could benefit from a little more focus, but I don’t stress about it that much. Perhaps that’s why I don’t have gallery representation and haven’t won awards that others have. Maybe and maybe not. The important action is the one of taking pictures, and seeing a show consisting of a life’s work of so many personal, strong, and iconic individual images was inspiring.