Often, when I’m out wandering with my camera, some kind person will help me with directions, then call out as I’m heading down the road, “I hope you find what you’re looking for!” It’s a wish that floats around in my mind, challenging me. It seems that since my childhood I have been looking for something. Am I forever hoping that the next great face or place will be it? Will I ever locate what I’m seeking? Maybe I should just confess, Thanks, I may not find it. I’m not even sure what it is.

Yet, if that is true, what keeps drawing me out with my camera? The answer, I think, is the process itself. Looking at the world through a viewfinder is comforting; it lets me consider one frame at a time rather than being overwhelmed by a flood of visual information. It is affirming; it commemorates and preserves the details of my life. It is challenging; it gives me the opportunity to arrange lines and shapes within the frame. And it is rewarding; it gives me a deeper insight into my world and a fuller understanding of how I fit into it. Photographing the natural world and people interacting with it is a spiritual and emotional experience for me.

The images here all appear in I Hope You Find What You’re Looking For, my fifth book of photographs (gloriabakerfeinstein.com).