I have simple aspirations. I don’t need fame or fortunes. Some income from my work, yes. Comfortable, sure. Financially secure, please. But fortune? I don’t need that much.
I do want to change the world–the world of future generations who will always have beautiful portraits of their ancestors. I want to foster more photographers to do the work like I am doing with The Wise Photo Project and already some are.
I would like my name, Wajda, to be known in photographic circles the way Wajda is in Poland in filmmaking circles–Andrzej Wajda is a Polish legend, a filmmaker who’s like the Steven Spielberg of Poland. In fact, whenever I google my name, his name will always (and rightfully) come up first.
I want to add my name to the search results. I want someday for Kenneth Wajda to be one of those photographers’ names everyone knows. As much as they know Ansel Adams and Robert Frank, Annie Leibovitz, and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
I’m not comparing my work to theirs. I’m not them. I have my own body of work that only I could have made. I like it, I am proud of it, and it’s truly my own.
And I work hard to be one of the top inspiring photographers working today sharing knowledge and promoting photographers through my YouTube channel, my photography podcast, and this blog among other projects.
One of the reasons I encourage young photographers–really photographers of all ages–to make work is because no one can make the photographs they can. And if they don’t make it, I tell them, it won’t get made and the world will be a worse place for it.
“We need your art.” I believe that.
I am one of the top proponents of printing photographs. I would like to raise consciousness about the need for an actual photographic print to the point that a trend is created that is known the world over–perhaps called a Wajdaotype (sure, I have lofty goals, someone has to!)–which means essentially making actual portraits using artistic film processes and displaying them in homes.
I do like how the old inventors put their names in their process.
HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSES
Daguerreotype (1839 – 1860s)
Calotype or Talbotype (1840 – 1860s)
Ambrotype (1851 – 1870s)
Wet Plate Silver Gelatin (1851 – 1880s)
Ferrotype/Tintype (1852 – 1940s)
Albumen Print (1850 – 1920s)
Cabinet Cards (1860 – 1890s)
Cyanotypes (1880 – 1920s)
Opaltypes (1880 – 1920s)
Dry Plate (1880 – Present)
Silver Gelatin Print (1880 – Present)
Digital File (1975 – Present)
Inkjet Print (1984 – Present)
Wajdaotype (2015 – Present)
From Wikipedia of the future: “After the digital revolution curtailed photographic printing, and millions of families lost their family photos due to lost devices, dead hard drives, and failed backup systems, Kenneth Wajda and his Wajdaotype put the film portrait back in the living room.”
Something like that.
Essentially a masterful portrait made on film, its goal is to create lasting art of our families for our families. It’s simple but things that are right in front of us are often easily missed. Like the way millions of family photographs are lost every day to obsolete technology or simply lost devices.
The work we do today is the work that changes the lives of those to come tomorrow.