The Dance Enthusiast Celebrates Black Choreographers:
"Dance is my medicine ... Dance is the fist with which I fight the sickening ignorance of prejudice. Instead of growing twisted like a gnarled tree inside myself, I am able to dance out my anger and frustration." Pearl Primus
Ed Flores- Postcards - Focus on Dance Photography
*Editors note- I met Ed Flores on Facebook (how bout that?) The picture that immediately attracted me was the black and white of Paige suspended in air.
I did not conduct the interview below I am reprinting it with Ed’s permission.
I think how he came to photography is inspiring along with his quest for perfection, his dissatisfaction with his work, and his continual search for the great shot. I am reminded of this Martha Graham quote:
“No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive...”
When did your passion for photography begin?
It began in 1995. I had just gone through a life changing experience. At that time, I was an aerospace Quality Assurance Engineer for a Fortune 100 Company. In August of that year I had a medical scare which made me reconsider the path I was on.
During the midst of tests, I had this one persistent vision. Did I want to be on my deathbed having regrets for having life pass me by because I was driven by the next big paycheck, promotion or award?
I made a promise to myself that if I was healthy I’d leave my job, sight unseen, not knowing what I was going to do after having been in corporate life for so long. The tests came back negative, I was healthy and I handed in my resignation a few days later.
It was then that I decided to become a photographer.
Funny thing, I didn’t know anything about photography.
I felt something deep down that kept telling me this was what I was meant to do. That passion, that desire, the love of photography kept growing inside me.
What was it about photography that grabbed you and never let go?
As strange as it may sound, the lens turned itself back onto me.
Through the lens, I began to see that I was self-conscience and uncertain about myself and my abilities. It hit me. How could I make others feel good about themselves in front of the camera, if I was comfortable with myself?
It forced me to shed that façade I had spent years building and see me for who I really was.
Only then was I able to create the type of images I wanted. I finally saw the beauty and emotion that the camera can capture.
There’s a quote that I read a while back that sums it all up for me. Unfortunately, I can’t remember who said it, but it goes like this, “Photographers photograph the world the way they see it.”
If anything, I hope that statement is reflected in my work.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
That I am able to meet some of the most talented and passionate people I could ever hope to come across in one’s life. I’ve experienced things that still, to this day, take my breath away. Each person I’ve met has given me a bit of themselves, taught me something, touched me in some way and in the end, enriched my life.
Photography never crossed my mind. The only photography class I took was as a junior in high school and the only reason I took the class was so that I could meet girls.
My schooling and training was geared towards the corporate world and that’s where I was before I became a photographer. I was all nice and comfy.
Describe how you feel when you get that perfect shot?
This is a hard one.
To be honest, I never feel I get that perfect shot. I always come away somewhat unsatisfied.
At the moment I take the shot, I get excited. I think I’ve done it, that it’s perfect.
That lasts all of about 2 seconds and I realize I’m not satisfied, that something’s missing. Something was out of place, the emotion wasn’t right and the list goes on.
It’s like a roller coaster.
But, that’s what makes it so much fun and that’s what drives me.
Someday, I’ll catch that perfect shot. I’ll ride that perfect wave…………..someday.