For those of you who don’t know me, or who aren’t familiar with my work, my name is Abraham Morales and I am a photographer from the Philadelphia area. I guess you could say “I’m a bit of an odd case” because I picked up my first real camera about 5 years ago... Not back then, when I was a toddler in my parents backyard, like so many “I found my life’s purpose” stories tend to go.
The moment I picked up that camera, since then I’ve spent these last 5 years crafting a unique vision for my work. Now of course, I started shooting photos using the city of brotherly love as my canvas and searching through the streets for places that I felt were worthy of capturing... Homes that I found charming throughout the seasons, and even the narrow brick-paved streets that still gives Philadelphia, its old-world allure.
I’ve learned most of what I know about life and photography, through trial and error. Discovering angles, lighting, perspectives, and being adventurous by shooting at different times of the day. However, being as passionate as I am in this representation of art, my job is to capture images that can spark feeling in people - which isn’t always easy to do when the subject matter is architecture or city life rather than portraiture; and while I have ventured into taking portraits, I strongly feel that I can express my art more fluently through my original subject matter.
These last few years of experimenting really shaped my personal philosophy as a photographer. In fact, artists all have their own form of the word “perfecting”. For musicians, we call it “tuning” and for dance, we call it “timing”, to name a few examples. But the interesting thing about the visual arts, like painting or photography, is that unlike music or dance, our work doesn’t span time. We don’t have time to tune, or time to recover our rhythm. (Although, I am not saying these forms of art are easier than photography. If you saw me dance or heard me sing, you would quickly realize why I’d have NO business suggesting that; therefore, I really respect these art forms)... What I am trying to convey is that photography is the exact opposite of something that can span across time. So I essentially have approximately 1 out of a 6000th of a second to capture exactly the image that I envision. I have to be quick and precise to reflect the art I have going on in my mind when I come across something I feel is worth capturing.
Yet, what is worth capturing? We live in a time where, with social media and sophisticated smart phones, any person with an eye for lighting and a good angle can generate a beautiful photograph. I don’t talk about this like I disrespect it, either. Most of my earliest photos were, in fact, shot on an iPhone. But what makes my artistry unique is that I am less interested in what is “superficially” pretty.
Society really likes to focus on the appearance of people, places and things. But I specifically try to tell a story with my work. When I capture a photo, and I immortalize my vision with a perspective - that split second in time and space - I don’t do so because I found my subject to be “pretty”, but because I am expressing an emotion a way that no one else can.