How reading books made me a better photographer

Over the past year, I fell away from photography, I did it for a job daily. When it came to my personal work I completely stopped. I no longer cared about a camera on my person when I walked out the front door. I stopped reading books and stopped working out. I did my job and went home, and my personal drive for development and creativity dried up. It wasn’t until I started reading books again that something changed.

What’s in my camera bag

Like all of us, I carry around a few things every day in my bag. Be it going to work, for a walk or trip. I wanted to share what I can’t leave home without, why I choose these particular items, for everyday use and the essentials I need when leaving the house.

There is something about having a neckless or watch that you wear every day and that one day you forget it you feel naked. Like something is off; not quite right. And these few items I can’t leave without, I would rather be late leaving the front door than going outside without them. It’s not that I need them to live or for my job, but rather for comfort. Like a morning coffee or newspaper. Here they are in no particular order.

Walking to work

After dealing with a period of depression I decided to go back to my roots and the way things were. And one of the transitions was walking to work again in the morning. Now walking to work is a privilege I know this. At the same time, it is tremendously time-consuming. I lose about two hours of my day walking, where I could save that by driving to work or taking public transport. But the time vs cost against reward is so worth it and where is what I get out by adding 2 hours of me to my commute.

White corner of a room

Why minimalism won’t save the planet

Have you heard the saying minimalist or minimalism? The word minimalism described an art movement in the 1960s regarding artists like Donald Judd, Agnes Martin or Carl Andre. The interesting thing is many of the artists didn’t relish being called minimalist artists or identify it as a movement at all. The idea around their artistic aesthetic was a reduction of the abstract movement favouring the literal.

The word minimalism has been construed from its original form into an aesthetic that is desired in consumer culture. Mainly in high-end products away from the middle to low-income households. This is because the minimalist lifestyle is a preference to own less, rather than the economic struggles of lower wealth classes. Minimalism has become a status symbol, represented mainly by White European or Asian ethnicities.

Why you should read

When it comes to reading the written word, the best type of reading that you can do is in the long format of a book. I’m here to tell you how it can change your life for the better. Aside from the normal benefits that we already know about like improved brain connectivity, reduced stress and prevention of cognitive decline. Reading also aids in sleep along with increases your vocabulary and empathy. But we already knew that let’s talk about how reading can really benefits your life and why you should read.

Needless consumption

Maybe you have heard of these words going around. Needless consumption, endless consumption, responsible consumption, zero waste, eco friendly, sustainability, green, recycled, materialistic lifestyle or minimalism. In short, these are the current marketing buzzwords targeting environmental impacts. Or words that make us feel good when a company says their products are sustainable, recycled or whatever bull-shit they are using to make you buy their products.

Needless consumption or a consumer’s morels are constructed on not valuing a person on 1. How they care. 2. Their creativity. 3. Or the strength of their community. Instead, we value ourselves on how many commodities we have. This also pushes us away from ethical questions on how those commodities are made or the well being they have on communities. The number one priority of a company is to make more profit.

Little habits can change your life

You want to get good at something my advice is to start small and slog away at it every day even when you don’t feel like it. Make sure that starting isn’t hard, make it as easy as possible. Little effort with the shortest lifespan is how I get good at anything.

Photography, the slog is picking up the camera and taking it where ever I go. Writing, simple every time I open up the computer I also open up a notepad or writing app. Working out, simple have weights next to my clothes, and only do a few reps and the weights aren’t that heavy. The trick with all is to do it every day thou. Consistency, I’m a morning person I do all my good habits in the morning. A few weights, a few words a simple act of picking up the camera. It’s the little habits that make us who we are. A small kind act, asking someone we love how they are. Drinking water in the morning. Going to be at 10 pm. Walking up the stairs instead of the elevator. Smiling at strangers. Reading a book in the evening. Opening a door for someone. Picking that rubbish you see on the floor. Cleaning the dishes while cooking. It’s the small things that make us who we are. It’s what we normally do on an average day that becomes our life.

Compassion

Compassion is accepting, accepting that someone is not ready, because they are dealing with something, and they are not willing to learn or hear. Wisdom can only be transferred when the student is ready to listen. Compassion is seeing the potential and being willing to wait for them.

The dictionary definition for Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate that suffering. I feel that compassion is a bit more than that. A willing to wait, to see through someone else eyes. And to accept where someone is in life be it mentally or emotionally.