When,Who,Where and Why.
These are the questions i get ask by humans on a daily basis when speaking about my photography. So where should I start?
I first realized that I have a true passion and eye for photography when I was still very young. I was always fond of a camera and whenever I took photos they came out good. This is when I first realized that I have a good eye for photography. My father got himself a camera and I played around on it. It still never dawned on me that I was one day to become a photographer. I was a very busy kid and always had immense amounts of energy, I then started to go on lots of different paths thinking that, it was what I really loved...only to find out that it is just what I wanted my mind to believe. After graduating from high school I still did not know what I wanted in life and what I should do with my life. It took a few years to figure out who I am and during all that time I was still hopping around through different life paths. We go back two and half years ago, when it all just hit me while just getting lost in my thoughts. I then took the steps and started studying photography and decided that I am going to be a full time photographer. A job should let you have a passion for what you are doing, Money should not be the thing making you happy. Your passion should drive you.
I am Galen McGee and I am a photographer, I reside in Strandfontein Village, Western Cape, South Africa and I am 25 years young, and I am the name behind Sleeping_Panda Photography. I wake up everyday and think of the next thing that I can photograph, I am always looking for something new because most things have been done before. This makes the mind more powerful because the mind has to be fully open, This lets one's creativity broaden and the eye gets to see more detail of a single shot. Whether it is just walking to the shop while doing daily activities or just opening the eyes and seeing the worlds beauty. I believe that my photos should explain themselves and there will never be just one outcome due to the fact that we all see life differently. When it comes to the work I do for people and the photos I take, I always try for the perfect lightning; whether I am using natural or artificial lighting, The best exposure for the time. I try to take a photo that does not need to be edited, because I feel that when you edit a photo you remove the natural part of a photo.
How on earth did I come across this name, I did not just wake up one day and decided, Hey, okay that's what I am going to be known as. It took a while to think about a name for my company. Searching myself, Looking for new ideas; new locations... and just thinking about photography and where it can take me if I pursue my passion hard enough. My journey began when I was born and it is continuing brick by brick. One step at a time, but there has to be a destination when one is on a journey of self discovery. The future knows what is waiting for me, I don't. However, each day we learn more and more of what the future holds. For now, I am still building my future and becoming more experienced through each new photographic encounter. I just want to be the best photographer I can be.
So to the big question I get asked all the time. Why Sleeping_Panda Photography? This was one of the longest parts of it all. I had lots of sleepless nights and always thinking about it made me a bit crazy I must confess. Then one day it hit me - I needed a name which represents me the person and that it is not about the company because my passion comes first and then making money. Let me break it down for you:-
Sleeping - For many years I was a dormant volcano. For most of my life I have been blind and ignorant to the things that was right in front of me. I was going through tons of things which made me mentally, physically and spiritually drained. Then I broke free of all the bullshit which life throws our way and with this freedom I got the strength to pursue who I truly am in life and what I want to do with this new found energizing freedom.
Panda - These animals will always have a place in my heart, they remind me of who I am today as a human being. They touch your soul just by gazing at them, They bring joy to everyone on this planet and yet the Panda is such a humble animal going through so much suffering and pain. They are Black and white which in photography interests me because there is so much power in a black and white photograph. Color is a racial thing invented by man to enslave one another. But....when we look at a black and white photo we remove the color and by removing the color we also remove all of our fears and insecurities. Now, we just see life as it should be seen - pure and unspoiled; whether it be people; animals;nature; love or life..
Sleeping_Panda. This is the name of my photography company. When us humans use names it's to add a face to it. Being mysterious is better for me due to the fact that people will always want to know who it is behind the name. I am a human and do not need a title to do what makes my
heart grow fonder.
This is what makes me Sleeping_Pandathis reminds me of who I was as a person and who I am today, it reminds me of the strength I have inside,The amount of love and passion I have for the world and it keeps me striving to become greater as a person and photographer.