“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”
Wow, it's been almost 2 years since my last blog post and what do I have to show for it? Not much really. Well, not much in terms of photography but there's more to life than photography. Or is there?
Well - that all depends. For me, photography (and by association, running a photography business) was never supposed to be a primary priority for me. I lost focus of that and go caught up in the mindset of wanting to make it work as if it were my career and primary source of income when I already had one. I was trying to keep up others who were working in the industry every day and comparing my work with these same people and always ending up falling short because of that.
In the past couple of years, I've stepped away from the photography work and it's been good for me. I hate to admit it but I haven't touched my camera in over a year. It's both a good and bad thing though. By stepping away, I've been able to get out of the unhealthy mindset that I was previously in but at the same time I've become a bit rusty with things in the world of photography.
My personal circumstances have changed but now I've now been given the opportunity to once again get back into my photography work. The difference this time is that I have 2 more years of life experience...and an established career in another industry. There's no need for me to even attempt to keep up with anyone else in the photographic world and everything that I'll be doing, from here on in, will because I want to and because I enjoy doing it. I no longer feel obligated to say 'yes' to doing photographic work because I was concerned about what that would mean for my photographic reputation.
So, the purpose of this blog...now that I've come to terms with my new found freedom, I'm embarking on that journey to rediscover my creativity. I'm digging up my old photoshoot ideas and concepts that I've had but never completed. I'm looking at the old websites (like DeviantArt) that I used to spend time on to get ideas and inspiration. I'm looking at different online forums and communities where they have "monthly challenges" that I can use to get a little more creative and best of all, I'm actually able to allocate and structure some time to doing these side projects - because that's exactly what they are now. Side projects...and trying to give them a priority higher than that is a disservice to myself.
So for now, the research and planning stages have commenced.
"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." ~ Frank Zappa
In my photography life, the biggest event that took place was an opportunity that took place via one of my contact who was running an event at Edith Cowan University called "Labrats". This event involved students from surrounding high schools attending the university to experience a few of the various courses they have available. In terms of photography, this proved to be somewhat...challenging...so I'm going to list them here for your enjoyment:
In a nut shell, those were a few of the major things that I learned as part of this experience / opportunity and here's the 'shot of the day'.
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" ~ C.S. Lewis
I've been doing a lot more in relation to productivity and self-development which have been a tremendous help in my personal life but I'm now beginning to apply that to my photographic life. In the previous post (which was a few months ago) I made reference to a few 'rules' that I was mentally implementing to ensure that the passion I had for photography was kept intact. I'm pleased to say that they've been working well for me. It's given me more time to focus on a few ideas and concepts that align with me creatively.
I've also structured and planned out my work a bit better and it's safe to say that thing from here on-wards are going to be different. I'm hoping that each of these blogs (which will be more regular) will act as both as a journal of the work I've done and a bit of a preview of the work that I'm about to do.
I'm really excited about this next stage of my business and I think the struggles I've had up until this point have solidified a lot of the uncertainty I previously had about the direction of my photography work and business. Stay tuned folks.
"The more things change, the more they are the same" ~ Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
So having spent a bit of time focusing on myself out of necessity and I've also had some time to think about a few things. Some thoughts have been photography related, some have not. In relation to my involvement with photography I guess it was something that's come full circle. I started getting involved in photography because I wanted to show people how I saw things - things that were different. I was never any good at drawing or painting so I guess photography was where I eventually gravitated towards.
The other reason I got involved with photography was because I enjoyed it. Because I loved it. When you stop loving what you do...then you've become a slave to the process and that's not the kind of life that I want to have. Then again, does that mean - as a photographer that loves taking photos - I should be exploited for it? The amount of time, money, effort and energy that I've spent into learning, education, trail and error, self development, the blood, sweat and tears and everything else in between...should that count for nothing? I don't believe so. Which is why I've now established processes and protocols so that doesn't happen in future.
I don't ever want to lose the love I have for photography and in hindsight, selling out or taking on projects that I didn't have any love for and was simply doing it for the "great exposure" didn't align with who I am as a person and as a photographer. In going forwards with my work from here, this is the mentality I'm hoping to maintain.
"Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on." ~ Eckhart Tolle
In recent months I've been involved in a fair number of events and I've been more than grateful and thankful for those opportunities. As draining and exhausting as they've been, I've loved my involvement with them and I'd like to hope that in each of these instances further photography work and opportunities will eventuate in the coming year.
During this time I was also offered the opportunity to be involved as a photographer at a somewhat significant event. I did agree to it in the first instance but shortly after I started to experience significant personal (health) issues. I contemplated withdrawing my services for this event because of my issues but my ego got the better of me and I progressed it further in the hopes that things would just sort themselves out. Unfortunately for me, that wasn't the case.
I lost a lot of sleep coming to terms with withdrawing my services for this event and I felt like a failure because I was unable to uphold my initial commitment...but at the same time, in the back of my mind I knew it was the right thing to do (for me) for nothing more than self preservation. Letting go of something, anything, that I had committed to because of health reasons (that are out of my control) has been one of the hardest things I've had to do in recent memory.
Dealing with my own ego has not been easy. The internal dialogue (or more accurately, internal conflict) has not been easy. Coming to the realisation that there are some things that our out of your control has not been easy. Coming to terms that there are factors that, despite what you WANT to do will limit or negate what you CAN do, has not been easy.
As a result, I've had to cease any further (active) photography work. At least for the short term anyway.
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