As you have noticed, I haven’t been posting on the blog or sharing a lot of photos this past year. Part of me needed a break from trying to capture every moment on a camera, part of me lost inspiration, and part of me simply didn’t want to share every image with the world.
Photography had become a hobby, turned business, turned expectation in my life. There has always been a feeling among those who share images via social media that the more people who like/favorite your image the better a photographer you are. If you were someone who didn’t get a lot of likes/favorites you sucked. It didn’t seem to matter how good you actually were as a photographer, likes=success. Who doesn’t want to be liked and succeed? Over the past year, I wanted to take a step back and look at my photographic vision for me, and me alone. Posting images online is great, but I found the more I posted the more I doubted my work; I compared my images to others. It was easy to get a false sense of goodness when a lot of people liked the images I felt I liked enough to post. Getting a lot of likes/favorites made me feel like I was on top of the World! It’s like being a T-Rex… big, bad, respected (even though it’s because they would eat you), but know their weakness and they crumble. A T-Rex couldn’t even hold a camera for heaven’s sake.
Having taken a break from posting every image I snap to social media, I’ve learned to appreciate my photographic vision. I have even been able to see my vision in my images. Seems funny to say that, but those who get it, will get it.My vision is up close and personal. I don’t shoot with long lenses so you don’t know I’m there, I shoot with the camera in your face. Sure it’s not for everyone, but it’s how I connect with my subjects. It’s a conversation between the subject and me, my camera simply documents the exchange.
With all that said, I encourage all those who are having a hard time finding inspiration in their work to take a step back for a while. Put the camera down and enjoy the world by living in the moment. Take away the expectation you feel others have for your images. Capture truly what you want to capture with a camera for you, not because you want to post it online so other people can like it. A while back someone had posted in one of my photography groups, I believe it was on Facebook, they only shoot 10 pictures a day when on an outing with family. They had stated it helped to balance living in the moment and documenting their family. I loved the idea and now try to do the same thing.
Today, I’m looking forward to the new year, new experiences, new images, and a renewed love of the camera.