Text copyright: Ahorn Magazine
Photos copyright: Todd Hido
© Todd Hido, 1951, 1997 from “Houses at Night”
1. Shooting a specific image often means to complete a complex process after a deep investigation. The photographer is supposed to find the subject following too many signs. Those signs are often inside us, many of them come from our past. How is it possible to recognize those signs? Is it possible to explain how every feeling, every memory, can be put together in one single image?
A firstly let me start out by saying that I completely agree that the signs you are looking for, many of them do come from your past.
But no, I don’t think that’s possible to put it all together in one single image. If it were then this would not be a lifelong pursuit?
A body of work does not even do it sometimes.
I have noticed that within my own practice that often adding a genre, or another way of taking pictures, often adds an extra layer that complicates things more deeply.
I believe that all those signs from your past and all those feelings and memories certainly come together, often subconsciously, and form some kind of a fragmented narrative. Often you’re telling your own story but you may not even know it.
One of my most valuable bits of feedback for me came from an art therapist that I did an independent study with when I was in graduate school.
He taught me that I was on the right track with my subject matter and gave me the confidence to pursue it. What a gift that was in retrospect.
He looked at the beginning of my houses at night, the beginning of my foreclosed home pictures, and the beginning of my portraits—all back in 1995 when I had just two or three of each, and he told me that I was right in the midst of telling the story of my life and that my photographs clearly represented that.
© Todd Hido, 1536, 1996 from “Houses at Night” / 1637, 1996 from “Interiors”
Interview by Daniel Augschoell and Anya Jasbar