The summer before my senior year of high school, I went to Costa Rica with my family. Reflecting on this trip, I have come to realize just how important this little vacation was. Through my adventures, I began to internalize how much I loved photography, and as a result, how much I wanted to pursue it. As my family was leaving Playa Grande, in the Guanacaste Province, I wanted to do what all millennial social media lovers do... send a Snapchat. As I whipped out my phone to take a picture of the beach, my hand just so happened to be in front of the camera. I quickly put my hand down and took the snap I had originally intended. As I walked back to the house, I thought about the picture again... I began to envision what it would look like if my hand would have been a part of it. I sprinted back out, with my mom yelling at me because we were already running late, and took this modified version. It was pretty cool, but I honestly didn't think anything of it.
Years later, I look back on this seemingly insignificant moment and have internalized how pivotal it was for me. It marked the beginning of my exploration process... my deep reflection into understanding “Who is Rod B?” It was the beginning of the “whoisrodb pose,” which over time, has become the most iconic part of my work. This first shot, taken on Snapchat, reminds me of a very different time in my life where I had only recently embarked on this journey. In compiling all the pictures I have taken since then, I have been able to make my growth tangible.
These “hand pictures” are so much more than just mere photographs. When I see them, I not only remember how incredible these places are, but what they made me feel and what I learned from them. The “hand pic” has been the most pure way for me to remind myself that no matter where I am, I am a part of the natural ebb and flow of life, that I am here now.