What existentialism taught me about life and photography

From the philosophers, Jean-Paul Sartre & Albert Camus I’ve found myself questioning everything in my life regarding existentialism and photography, passion, knowledge, devotion & skill over the past two years, soul searching if you will. What I’ve learned is there is no purpose or meaning to something unless you give it one. Essentially existentialists believe that an individual has and can control their own free will to choose and act. People make decisions based on what has meaning to them, rather than what is rational. What I mean by this is if your photography makes you happy, then it makes you happy because you give it value and purpose in your life, and that it is of your own free will that you give photography these values.

Existentialism taught me

What existentialism has taught me, is you are not special, you are no better than any other sentient being. Your problems aren’t as important than someone else’s, they are only important to you because you choose to give it that status. Nothing in your life is set in stone and nothing in your life is forever. My father told me, a job doesn’t last forever. Meaning, never get comfortable in a career, always be ready to walk away and move on to the next thing. Because the moment your not ready or you fall into a routine or contentment, the rug will be pulled from under your feet. To many people, this would be stressful, or scary to have happened to them. To an existentialist, it could feel like this, but knowing that this world is random, gives some sense of peace.

blurred waterfall

Black is black and white is white

Another thing I have taken away from existentialism, is black is black and white is white, good is good and bad is bad, nothing more. It sounds so obvious I know, but so many people take things for granted or question their fate by saying “Why me?”. I have a great sense that my life is random, nothing is promised and I have learned to let go because of this. As a result, I am always happy with my life and photography. I enjoy ever morning, be it the smell of the air to the rain falling at my feet. I try to be present in ever step that I take. Every day is a gift, it’s never promised, and that moment could change for better or worst. I have found contentment, bliss and happiness in my life thanks to the great philosophers, Jean-Paul Sartre & Albert Camus.

Existentialism and photography

I adopted these existentialist beliefs into my photography. Every time I pull up my camera I experience joy, happiness that I am fortunate enough to hold my dream camera, my Zen camera. Nothing is promised or my birthright, in order for me to succeed in photography and my passion, I need to hustle and work my ass off. I need to upload and create daily and weekly content that helps and inspires others. When I have the time to walk outside and experience the bliss of photography I’m happy. During these times I never think about bills, dinner, events, relationships, fame or money, I live in the moment. Existentialism fits with my daily practices of being grateful, content and thankful for what I have because I know my life is random. I’ve won the lotto because I’m a human, I get to do what I love for a living, photography.

What are you grateful for, what do you believe in, or better yet what do you choose to believe in? Take the time to reflect on how lucky you are to even be alive. Because according to the philosophy of existentialism if choose to believe that life is good, it is good.