It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything at all, so I just decided to briefly update everyone on what’s up with me. I am still very much in love with photography, but still not sure what I love to photograph style-wise. What is my look? And do I even like it? I realize the saying “every artist is their own worst critic” is at least 98-99% true, and I am no exception. Is there any part of me left that even enjoys portraits anymore? At this point, I have no answer. That’s why I no longer advertise my willingness to take portraits — I’m just not willing. Inspiration does come back in waves, but each time it goes, a smaller piece is left behind. I hoped the calendar project would cure this. I hoped having actual studio gear would solve some issues. And I hoped buying my new camera would help bring me back to life. Maybe these things are helping in minuscule ways that may build up over time, but I suppose it’s too soon to say. I have yet to post a single photo from my new camera. This is the first time I’ve even mentioned it. The thing is, I don’t have any intention of making photography a career. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, and even if I get there, I think it will always be a hobby for me. And that’s a good thing. A hobby is something I can be passionate about, but let it rest when I need to. A job is something I need in order to survive. Every time I hear someone say I need to do what I love for a living, or hear that quote saying I will never work a day in my life, I feel worse. I feel guilty. I wonder if I even love it at all. And I do, but anyone alive is subject to doubt.
I find hope in artists like Ken, of Pursuing Wabi and Hai of Notes of Nomads. The reason is simple: their work, though quite different, is free. I found them both because of Japan, but that’s not why I follow them now. It’s not even the travels they document that make them free. There is no explaining it, really. The word, “free” is all you need. I find hope in them, because I see in their work traces of my own mind. Which brings me back to the question — What is my look? What is my style? Following several different photographers gives me hope as much as it can stunt me*. Ken embraces “happy accidents” — he told me this once, when I commented about a picture that was so wonderful you actually feel the heat of it. It was in the colours, the saturation, and the blur. When I see similar accidents, I tend to discard them. Even if I like them. I am bound by the fear of others not understanding. Whether or not others actually like it is irrelevant. I value criticism when it is productive, but it rarely ever is, so I’d rather avoid it. I do this subconsciously and I’ve only noticed recently. So by following those who are not afraid of what they like — or at least try not to be — I am left with the hope that I can be unafraid as well.
Finally, I want to thank those of you continuing to follow me, despite my lack of content. I do have quite a bit to write about/pictures to post in the future. In some cases I just have to find the words.
*By stunt me, I just mean that stunning imagery and talent can make that self-criticism creep out. It’s not always a setback, but can be if I let it.