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?
We live in a now world, a same-day delivery economy, live news, live updates, instant satisfaction. Our world economy is thriving because of it, but our environment is suffering, are our creativity and originality also getting damaged along with it?
We have all done it, looked at someone else’s work or life and thought that would be nice to have what they have. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. But there is one thing that we are forgetting in our moment of envy, that someone out there wishes they had what we have. Our brains are really good at bringing our baseline of emotions, desire and stress to an equilibrium level. This is why lotto winners aren’t happier in their lives after reaching financial stability.
It’s one of the main draws of landscape photography, being one with nature at peace away from it all. Away from the grind, gossip and insecurities that come from society. But is this solitude being destroyed by the need for a social like? By other creatives replicating what they have already seen.