Here is the full transcript of Ryan Pfluger’s TEDx Talk: Photography as a Salve for Loneliness at TEDxPasadena conference.
In case there’s any confusion, that’s me up there. Enjoying the spotlight or commanding attention does not come naturally to me.
Blending into the background, analyzing and observing a situation, is where I find the most comfort, or, as I’ll get to later on in this talk, when I’m on the road by myself. Unless this lady is with me. Yes, I’m referring to my camera as a lady. She is my safety blanket, and I’ve spent more time with my camera than with most people in my life.
I’m an artist, I am a photographer, I’m a self-described nomadic creator. It’s one of those creative professions that when you tell people, they say, “Wow, I wish I could do that!” Or, “What do you really do for work?” Or my personal favorite, “Did you go to school for this?”
And, as with most things that we don’t have personal experience with, we make our own assumptions and judgments based off of the only tangible things that we can grab from. So, when you say “photographer,” people often think “weddings,” or “high school portraits,” or the ridiculous way photographers are depicted in TV and movies.
And I am going to show you what I do and why I do it. Now, when people first meet me or hear about me, this is what they’re interested in. Now, I could stand here and I can talk about how I’ve brushed shoulders with world leaders, and my surreal five minutes that I spent with President Obama.