It’s a creative addiction. Yes, I’m addicted to my camera, so much so that my partner says it’s my better half instead of her. I take my camera with me everywhere. Now, just because I have a camera with me all the time, doesn’t make me a better photographer. What it does do tho is give me a higher percentage chance of capture, then let’s say, someone who left their camera at home. I’m addicted to my craft, I love it some much it’s closer to me than my cell phone.
I love the feeling I get when I click the shutter. For me, there truly is nothing like it, that feeling, that sound. I get an amazing amount of satisfaction just from that quite sound my Leica M240 makes when I click the shutter. For me it’s like tasting your favourite food, it’s opening that glass of wine and putting your feet up. It’s bliss.
Seeing my photo in print and processing it myself, there is nothing like it. I know so many people that have never taken photos on an analogue camera, or printed in a darkroom. I know people that never print their personal photos, ever. It’s all up on Facebook or Instagram, that is it. For me even printing them in small 4×5 prints… it’s just something you need to do if you are a photographer. Photos were made to be printed. Processing your own photos is a must. Because that’s my craft, your craft. Framing or creating a reality, capturing it, manipulating it. be it colour, contrast, whatever. That feeling you get once you have your creation in a physical print. Amazing.
It brings me peace and a sense of daily accomplishment. I love meditation, taking time away from everything to clear my mind and slow down. For me, that’s walking and taking photos. My process doesn’t involve a lot of thinking or predetermination. I just walk until something catches my eye and I’ll take a photo of it. Then put the camera down by my side, and not think about it or ponder over what I just did. I go back to walking and having a clear mind. It brings me peace. At the end of the day tho, comes the editing. I would take around 12 photos a day, on a nomal day. At the end of the day after all the editing and processing, I upload one image to Instagram, and that feeling of putting something up, and out there for the world to see, is a great feeling. Now I don’t care about the likes or if anyone will see that image, but for me putting it out there for anyone to stumble upon it, feels great.
Even if all I had was a point and shoot, I’d still take photos with it. My first Leica is as old as me. I don’t care about gear. But in saying that, I do care about what I use personally. It’s a contradiction really, I’ll put it this way. If I couldn’t use a Leica, I’d happily use something else. I’ve used a lot of cameras, and they all do the same thing. They take photos, that is all you need in a camera. The only reason I only use my Leica is because it feels amazing for me to use. I get more peace using my Leica than an SLR. It’s just personal preference, and it is all subjective. A camera is a camera.
It is my hobby. I’m a believer that everyone should have a hobby. Something to do that is productive and gives you peace. Everyone needs that personal thing that helps you get away and forget all your troubles. For me that’s photography. It’s my getaway, my peace of mind, my expensive hobby.
I feel naked without my camera on me. This might sound weird, but have you got a watch or a ring or a neckless you always wear? That moment you forget to put it on, something doesn’t feel right. Your missing something, you feel off, naked. That’s what it’s like when I don’t have my camera around my shoulder. I can’t leave the house. It’s my blanket, my bottle, my safe place. Without it, I feel like I’m missing something. You know those moments you need something, you never have it. To avoid those situations I always have my camera with me.
When someone says they liked my photos, I notice something, I don’t care what they think. It doesn’t affect me emotionally because I do it for myself. This will come off arrogant. But I’m one of those people who doesn’t care what people think of me. I give zero fucks. If someone doesn’t like me or what I do, that’s fine. They are allowed their opinion of me, and that’s OK. I’m not going to try and make them like me or my work, that’s a waste of my time. I need to spend my time being me, instead of spending my time, pleasing others. My work is for me first, the world second.
Self-gratification, not praise. Again I do it for me, not for people to like me. I’m not going to win homecoming queen with my work. But I will lye on my deathbed and think, I did it my way.
I care about what I do. I truly care about what I do, and the amount of work I put into it. I love my process, I love the outcome it creates. I care about the images I make and what I put out there for the world. I care about it from a moral and personal aesthetics point of view. I also care about other people’s happiness, and I always want to help people find theirs. I would love to teach photography. I have a Bachelors and Honors degree in photography. But I don’t have a Masters which you need in New Zealand to teach at university level. But thinking about it, I could see if anyone whats my help one on one for free. I’d gladly give my personal time to help a fellow photographer find their voice. That’s how much I care about my craft.
Ask yourself, why do you take photos.