As to why I like photographing humans is a bit perplexing; much the way one might question why I love living in cities when I’m an introverted quasi-misanthrope. Just one of those predilections that might invariably fall into the realm of other subjective simplicities, like why I might prefer the color red over green, leaving us with the unsatisfactory but honest answer: Because I do.
I will say that when I really dove into photography, in 2005, I was fairly open in regards to subject matter. However, living in the middle of Bangkok arguably forced a setting amenable to “street photography,” whereas, at the time, I was simply photographing the world in which I lived.
Yet, it wasn’t just geographic determinism that shaped my interest, as I found myself organically gravitating towards the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Daido Moriyama, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Elliott Erwitt, and so on. Whatever I might feel about humans, humanity makes a fairly compelling theme.
As for the topic’s beauty, photography has never demanded that the subject matter itself be conventionally beautiful. Winogrand was particularly concerned about this since young women featured frequently in his catalog (attracting numerous accusations of sexism, but I digress). He worried that the woman’s attractiveness, and not the photograph itself, carried the weight of its worth. Winogrand argued that the merits of a good photograph should be able to transcend any inherently beneficial qualities of the subject matter.
Of course, visual interests is going to vary among each viewer. As for me, I have yet to come across a more engaging collection than Robert’s “The Americans” despite the world having more than 60 years to surpass it. Yet, I cannot impose this opinion on anyone else, so I can only be grateful that photographers are unlimited in their genre or genres of choice. Styles, tastes, and interests are spread across seven billion inhabitants, and unsurprisingly photography reflects this diversity (and I know, Tom, that you are not belittling such diversity; I largely rambling to the broader “you”).
I will stress that I enjoy looking at a wide spectrum of photography. When I used to ‘use’ drums in this or that garage band, I liked playing a certain type of music (typically loud and fast), despite enjoying all types of music. Likewise, what I enjoy photographing doesn’t define my overall appreciation of photography. A good photograph is a good photograph.
Anyway, I wish I could provide a more specific answer (and perhaps more succinct), but photography is so much reaction for me, that while I might be able to elaborate more on what shapes my interests, I’m more inclined to just say, “because I do.”