Tuesday, 25 November 2014

When you fall out of love with Photography

What can I mean... fall out of love with photography?

Exactly that!

It may become a chore, it may feel soul destroying, you may feel like you are taking photos for everyone else, not yourself! That's what becoming a professional is all about. You are no longer your own client. The easiest way to deal with this is to take time out, think about what you used to love about photography, what did you take pix of as an amateur? I bet every day was enjoyable because there was no pressure to meet client expectations, take photos of things you would never choose to and deliver to deadlines, Everything was in your own time. When working as a photographer, you don't get your own time. Everyone wants their photos.

What if you are not professional but you have just stopped loving taking photos?

That's OK you know. It happens. It's nothing to feel bad about. Don't think that's it, you should give up! Do you know why you don't like taking photos any more?

Are you scared of the technology? When we moved from analogue to digital, some of us thought it was a revelation, some of us were unsure of what this meant in terms of working behaviour. Some of us were photographers, or darkroom printers or like me, both of these. Some of us embraced Photoshop, some of us ran a mile because we didn't understand it and some probably still don't.

It was different back then, you would shoot a few rolls, use a light-meter to get your exposure, maybe bracket if you could afford to. Film was expensive! Then off you trot to the lab, go get a sandwich and a coffee and an hour later everything was ready to deliver to the client. Job done.

And now, we shoot more than we need to because we can. And spend hours processing and editing. We are overwhelmed with digital files. Constantly told we need to copy here, back up there, otherwise we lose everything. And hard drives have a life. Replace. Renew. What is this fear that the digital age has instilled in us? But I still have all those boxes of negatives and slides? Doesn't make sense does it?

So back to the question.... Do you know why you don't like taking photos any more?

Is something else missing from your life? Do you have an inability to connect with your surroundings. Maybe an unhappiness in life is the reason for reluctance to press the shutter release. That moment in time.... could be one you would rather forget?

If you don't want to take photos, put the camera down. Instead, draw or paint what you see. Or... write about what your eyes feel. Visual love will return. If you feel empty or full of sadness, look at the Great Masters. Often creativity and sadness go hand in hand. An empty mind, a blank canvas has the potential for artistic wizardry. Interpretation isn't always necessary for the viewer. Interpretation isn't always necessary for the artist either.

Every creative should have a muse and every creative should be one.

Go find the joy! Do what you are and you will become :)

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