Reading Intentionally / by Nicholas Doyle

I’ve been reading a lot of books this year, certainly more than I’ve read in previous years. I haven’t kept track of it well enough to know for sure. But I certainly feel like I’ve been getting through them. Reading has been a priority for me lately as I search for inspiration and know-how to guide me down my path as a photographer. There are infinite directions to go, an entire world of things to explore and possibly photograph, it’s difficult to know which to choose, but I’ve narrowed it down considerably. The things I'm most interested in showcasing are Architecture and Food.

Architecture images from recent client work & photo crawls.

Architecture seems pretty straight forward at first, but once you dig into it, it could include anything that’s built with intention. But sometimes beyond the architecture, I like the interior design, furniture, or objects in a space. That could all potentially still fit under the same heading. Buildings and stuff in them. Why they matter, what they mean to us, how they make us feel, how they tie us to a place, how they help us escape from another place.

Food images from recent client work.

Food is my other photographic love and has been for most of my life. Both of these passions have been a long time in the making. I learned to cook when I was young and kept at it for a very long time. I don’t consider myself to be exceptional, but I am aware that I took with more intention and have studied the subject much more than most of the people I know. And when you have a deep understanding of a subject, it makes photographing it significantly easier. You know what to look for, what to expect, what is going to happen next, and you can break apart the process from start to finish. I can look at a plate of food and stories unravel about how the dish came to be, where its ingredients came from, the people involved along the way. I can start to see the world in every plate of food. I’ve had significantly more practice here than in my study of architecture, but that’s been the focus of my diving deep lately.

Photos from this year's travels.

And finally, travel. When I travel, those are the two things that I look for everywhere - beautiful places and delicious food to experience and enjoy. But is travel photography a third thing?  There’s overlap in all of them, for instance, if I’m shooting a restaurant built by a renown architect. Chances are it’s also in an interesting or beautiful place, so there you’ve got architecture and travel, and you can throw food in there. Much of what I shot for Nooklyn I would consider food and travel photography. Food travel? Culinary exploration.

Stuff to read.

So these things inform where my heart is and what I like to spend my time on. Knowing all of that should make my list of recent reads pretty understandable. I've been reading a mix of magazines and books, both physical and digital. I joined both the Queens and Brooklyn libraries. I've got tons of photo books on the shelves that I've been meaning to look through with intention, some of which I'd like to purge after looking through. And others will get to stay. You've been reading for long enough now, so I'll save the in depth list of what exactly I've been reading for a future post.

Have you been reading much lately? Do you want to read more?

Here's my best tip: spend less time on Instagram, and more time in a book. Might not work for everyone, but it certainly works for me. :D