Whether for personal growth or cultural immersion, travel has a way of opening new doors to the overlooked corners of our minds. It forces us to break with conventional wisdom, form new associations, and find inspiration in the seemingly mundane. And as a travel and lifestyle photographer, I’ve always found inspiration in often overlooked subjects. Sometimes, it’s the smallest details that can tell you more about the place than the obvious picture. One of these beloved details just happens to be doors. Yes, doors! Colorful, plain, modern, intricate, metal, wooden, old, new… doors.
Doors have history; the families that have lived just on the other side, all the stories and memories, the things they have protected and hidden behind them. It evokes a bit of voyeurism and the mystery of what lies behind the slab. There is something magical about these urban portals. Whether unique or a conspicuous standout, individual doors are single threads in a city or town’s rich urban fabric. It’s also incredible how a door can be unique to a destination. Think of the colorful doors that line the streets of the Caribbean, the iconic blue doors amongst the sea of white buildings in Greece, and the studded ironwork and hand carved doors of the Middle East. Even the bright red doors of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco tell a story.
There is something important about these objects that needs to be preserved over time and appreciated while they still exist. Abdullah Alriyami, a writer who lives in Oman says, “Doors and windows in architecture are just like the eyes in people. It is through your eyes that I know about you and we communicate better: A door is not just a tool for security and protection, it is a cultural symbol of a human being.” Simply put, they are a metaphor for a path to somewhere else.