Passion is a word that gets thought around all the time in creative fields. Doing what interests you, inspires you or having a hobby is another term. I’ve been told that turning your passion into a career is the quickest way to kill it. The truth is if its a true passion you can’t do without it, you can’t go a single day without thinking about it. I’m not talking about sex, food or money I’m talking about something so visceral you have to do it regardless of modern life’s priorities.
I’ve been contemplating Instagram, social media, feeding the beast, wondering when it will show its appreciation. When will it be my time in the spot-light? Dilutions of grandeur. If your taking photographs, if your creating for anyone other than yourself you will hit a wall of ‘why?’.
I’ve had a lot of negative feedback about my choice of a camera when compared to alternative brands and image capture devices. All these judgments are valid and have good arguments in regards to the available choices from DSLR, mirrorless, point and shoots or smartphones for that matter. But I thought I would explain my reasoning on why I use a Leica rangefinder.
After a certain amount of years, you know who you are. It can be through experiences, experimentation, rebellion, music, a book, a person or just time. Knowing who you are is very valuable when it comes to art, how you see the world and express yourself. The truth is there is no path, shortcut or cheat sheet for discovering yourself. I strongly suggest you don’t follow someone else in this journey called life, because all you will do is walk in someone else’s shadow, and you will never see the light for yourself. Only you can walk the path, only you can trip and get your own scare that will mould you into the person you will become.
As soon as you start talking about the technical side of photography you start turning away from the most important aspect of photos, telling stories. Technology is and isn’t important when it comes to photography. No one care what camera or lighting you used except other photographers. I’m a big believer in the older you get the wiser you get, the less insecure you get, and the less you care about gear. Technology has no soul and here is why.
It’s called many things, burnout, a holiday, self-reflection, personal time or recharging your batteries. Whatever you call it, it’s OK to step away from your craft, it might even be necessary. For myself, I put the camera down, stoped writing and deleted my social media from my phone for two months, I needed to step away and take a creative break. This is why you might need it too.
When it comes to art or creativity it’s subjective. And art is only worth what your willing to pay for it. One person’s monthly income is another persons pocket change. Personal style, preference and tastes vast dramatically from age, culture, social groups and geolocation. So can one find a baseline for what a photo is really worth to the user in today’s economy? And answer the question, what is the value of a photograph really worth?
First off it’s not you, it’s Instagram. It comes down to a few very simple things, that can be summed up in three words and two reasons, chronological order and saturation.
Your average day dictates your life. Or to put in in other words Your results are based on your average day. Why does this matter, when the argument about work smarter, not harder is so abundant and work the endless work hacks and outsourcing? The truth is, it’s your average day that dictates who you are and your success. It’s your average day that leads or puts you in a place so you’re ready for that big break or that slow grind to the top.
Take photos, even if no one is looking, even if they never see anyone else’s eyes but your own. I’ve come to the realisation that social media is the catalyst of something regretful, and that is the need for recognition. I want to break the habit of needing it, the need for approval, recognition and validation. I didn’t get into photography because I needed my ego stroked, I got into photography because I love the act of taking a photograph & printing it. When did that reason get replaced along the journey?