The genesis of my recent awakening is to be found in the book, The Art of the American Snapshot ~ 1888-1978. Specifically in the following excerpt regarding the 1944 MOMA exhibition, The American Snapshot:
.... the pictures "constitute[d] the most vital, most dynamic, most interesting and worthwhile photographic exhibition ever assembled by the Museum of Modern Art" .... [P]raised as being "without artistc pretensions" and coming "nearer to achieving the stature of true art than any of the inbred preciosities in the museum's permanent collection of in any of its previous shows," the photographs were applauded as "honest, realistic, human and articulate."
When first reading these words, within the context of the snapshots presented in the book, I had absolutely no qualms accepting the idea of the pictures being "vital, dynamic, interesting, honest, realistic, human and articulate". And, I was especially taken with the notion that the pictures were made "without artistic pretensions."
The concept of making pictures "without artistic pretensions" struck a chord with me inasmuch as, for the past decade-and-a-half, I have been making pictures with artistic intentions, if not pretensions. However, that written, I do believe that those pictures are "vital, dynamic, interesting, honest, realistic, human and articulate". And, without question, many others think so as well.
All of that written, I have been acutely aware that there was a hole in the fabric of my picturing repertoire ... while my picture making was all nearly totally spontaneous, my referents were almost exclusively places and things. With very few exceptions, people as referents were not part of my artistic intentions picture making.
Consequently, I was aware that, if I wanted to create snapshots which mimiced the Traditional American Snapshot, picturing people must be the primary instigator for making snapshots. Faced with an upcoming extended family vacation at the Jersey Shore - the wife has asserted it is all about family and not so much the place - I had the opportunity to get people-based picturing into my head. Needless to write, it was not a particularly difficult paradigm to adopt. Although ....
.... try as I might, I have been unable to shed my artistic intentions picture making M.O. I am not certain that shedding it is a requirement for making snapshots - it just has to look like the pictures were made without artistic pretentions.
More on that topic to come.