We asked photographer Cary Fisher about his effort to capture images that define where he’s at and speak to his heart.
Editor – Cary, I meet you years ago when you were a Bible Worker in Tampa, Florida. At the time, I was visiting from the Pacific Union to learn more about what you were doing because it was making an impact.
Through the years, you’ve had a heart for ministry, and over the last few years, you’ve served as a pastor in the greater Los Angeles area. You’ve been through some tough times recently with your wife passing away. What a heartbreak for you and your three children to have to experience! Our prayers are with you as you continue to adjust to this new reality.
Recently you posted some photos on Facebook from around LA that caught my eye. Unlike the passing shots that tourists take, yours suggested that you saw your environment in creative, artistic ways. Tell us about your journey with photography and the role it currently plays in your life.
Fisher – Thank you so much for your prayers, and to say that we are adjusting to our new reality is the best way to put it. As far as photography, it feels like an extension of my call to ministry. There is a similarity to taking pictures as to when I gave sermons. I study and meditate on what is around me, but instead of words, I use a photograph to tell the story of what I am experiencing. My photography journey is a long story, but I’ve always had an intrinsic need to share and be creative. Also, my life experiences have undoubtedly guided me to it as a way for it to be my creative and spiritual outlet. The role that it plays in my life right now is that I am learning the craft as much as possible. Also, I feel a deep yearning to take photographs; therefore, the photos become meaningful. I share them with the thought that they can become meaningful to others as well.
Editor – What kind of camera are you currently using? Is it a DSLR (digital single-lens reflect) or a point and shoot? Point and shoot cameras have made great strides and are being taken more seriously. Incredibly, some still shoot with old film cameras. I can’t even imagine, but it is a retro thing.
Fisher – My favorite photographer does everything from his Galaxy phone, and while I have been using an iPhone until recently, I’ve now invested in a Canon EOS 5d Mark IV.
Editor – What are your favorite subjects to capture? And, is there a certain time of day that you prefer to take most of your shots?
Fisher – Because I grew up in Montana and spent many years traveling around the U.S., I love to photograph things in nature. However, since I live in Los Angeles, I have been focusing on architecture and landmarks. As far as the time of day, my sleeping patterns had dramatically changed when I took care of my wife, and it has carried over in photography. I wake up in the very early hours before dawn, and it seems that is when my creative mind kicks in. Therefore, I spend most of my photography before and around sunrise. One advantage of those times is that I can take pictures when there are little to no people around.
Editor – I’ve noticed in some of your photos that your son has a camera as well. Or was he borrowing yours? Is he following in your steps? How has your interest in photography affected your children?
Fisher – My son was borrowing my camera, and I don’t know if that was him wanting to follow in my footsteps or if it was only a moment of inspiration. I do think he has a good eye for photography. As far as how photography has affected my children, that is a good question. I have spent the last three years primarily as a dad, and I love that part of my life. But as my kids are getting older and more independent, I’m finding more time for myself to expand my horizon. My kids seem to be happy that I’m focusing on something else, and I believe I’m setting a good example by working hard on something that I love. Although they probably wouldn’t admit it, I also sense some admiration on their part when I show them my photos.
Editor – One problem with digital photography is that all the photos we take can end up in a dark hole (on a hard drive) where they are seldom seen. Ways to prevent this include setting up a website where they can be viewed and purchased or creating coffee table books that can be sold and shared. The traditional method to get your photos viewed requires working with a gallery to show some of your best photos. How do you plan to share your work?
Fisher – Right now, I am focusing as if photography is a lifetime project. As I develop in the art and technology of it, I hope it will keep evolving in a more authentic expression of how I see the world. I started a website (see below) to share my photos and develop my thoughts along the way. I can eventually see compiling my writings and images from there into a book someday. I post my pics on Instagram and Facebook (see below) to expand my network as a photographer. As far as selling my photos, I will let time and opportunity determine that.
Cary Fisher was interviewed by Rich DuBose, who directs ASA.© 2017 - 2021 ASA. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.