Peter Herzog began taking photographs at age 13 when his uncle gave him his first camera and said if he learned how to use it, it would be his friend for life. During a major life transition when his family moved from a remote location in the high Sierra Nevada Mountains to a large city where he knew no one, his relationship with the camera evolved into one of great personal importance. It remains so decades later.
“Taking unfiltered pictures helps me to better understand my reality and gain insight into the human condition at large. For me, photography is a spiritual practice that allows me to have a deeper inner connection to the world in which I live,” he says.
As a photographer, Peter seeks out those brief moments when he is able to mindfully approach and capture a soulful glimpse into another’s existence. His love and respect for his subjects translates to his larger photographic purpose: to share people, places, and things that others may not have the opportunity to experience…and through photographs, to stir and ignite emotion, curiosity, empathy, and expand perspectives.
Peter never traveled in his early life but has made up for that over the past two decades in his explorations of off-the-beaten-path destinations in Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, and the Pacific. He is devoted to capturing threatened or fading traditional cultures and sharing the lives, joys, wisdom, and customs of people throughout the world that might otherwise go unnoticed.
“Perhaps it’s left over from my childhood, having first lived in a secluded and wild place, but I still feel much more at home in the middle of nowhere spending all day outside with a smile on my face, than in densely populated urban centers,” he reflects.
His diverse subject matter has ranged from the great migrations of the Serengeti to the lives of isolated tribal communities around the world. Peter plans to continue traveling to obscure and challenging locations including upcoming returns to Mongolia and to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Peter is semi-retired from a career in real estate finance and development in California during which time he built, owned, and operated affordable/workforce housing for people living near or below the poverty line. For three decades in this field, he learned from the people who he served: those struggling to get by on a daily basis.
As a result, he is focused on raising a broader awareness of the growing prevalence of homelessness in America and impacting and inspiring social change through his work.
“My photographs are meant to touch the soul, to expand perspectives, raise consciousness, and pique curiosity in ways that bring us closer together. I believe through photography we can evolve our consciousness and liberate ourselves. Life is about more than survival; it is about pursuing service to others that encourages a kinder and more connected world.”