Expression can be found everywhere - in the lines of our neighbor's face and in a fading flower's bud. I hadn't thought about plants, landscapes, and other stills in such a 'personal' way before but it became ever more clear to me as I learned more about composition and explored my own voice and vision.
Was there a coherent theme behind the stories I was trying to tell with my portraits as well as my nature, landscape, and urban photography?
For much of my work the answer was no. But that was because the photographs themselves were crap. My best work shared consistent themes across the pieces, whether it was the rush of a creek, the wry smile of a stranger, or a bicycle abandoned on the street - stories, strong composition, and a certain something unexpected.
I mean that last part literally. Especially with the proliferation of Instagram and friends we've taken photos of just about everything. What remains, and David duChemain has said this much better than I will here, is art. In some ways it's like when the French remade their cuisine post WWII with the scraps of food around - essentially what became the hallmark of Western cuisine for a century. The basics will be remade over and over, but our job as photographers is to find not just the 'best' expression of it, but 'ours.'