0zbThe word “photography” comes from Greek roots which together translate as “writing with light”, therefore one would expect a close kinship between writers and photographers. Right? Wrong!

Though writing and photography are the two processes that fill up the majority of the editorial space in publications, few journalists manage to be successful at both, because the two processes are not only fundamentally different but also place different, often conflicting, demands on the practitioner. Can someone be both a writer and a photographer? Given certain considerations, for me the answer has always been yes, although the odds are often against producing both an insightful interview and a beautiful portrait at the same time, for concentration is needed either on the conversation or on looking for the revealing gesture or facial expression. Short of those extremes, however, the possibilities for the writer-photographer remain open and, along the way, I’ve learned that photography and writing are not so different disciplines after all. Photography is about seeing things that exist or could exist, and here the photographer and the writer have more in common than they may realize: In fact, for the successful photographer the picture exists in the mind before it exits in the camera, just as for the writer the words exist in the mind before they exist on paper or on the computer screen. Moreover, photography, for a writer, is one of the coolest methods of note-taking…

Sometimes my pieces appear without illustrations, at other times without words at all, and then there is when they come as a package of text and photos. Which of the above situations has been the most satisfying to me? I guess any one I’ve succeeded in telling my audience something, sharing new information, an insight, or just what it was like to be in a particular place at a particular time. The satisfaction is equal, regardless of whether I share that information through pictures, text, or a combination of the two. So, am I primarily a writer or primarily a photographer? Does it really matter? I prefer to think that I’m simply someone who can communicate in more than one way.


About Mauro Metallo

A Writer and Photographer equally at home in Italy and in Canada.

One response to “Contact”

  1. janinecollettephotography says :

    It’s always a pleasure to stop by your Blog. Your posts are rather thought provoking and what you describe actually crossed my mind today. Personally, I find that I am better photographer than writer.. Often, I will view an image, enjoy it and in some cases it will provoke a unique emotion within me. Many times however, I struggle with the right words to explain my thoughts. I suppose however, that this isn’t a new problem for me, as critique was always difficult for me in college years ago. 🙂

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