I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to do photography sessions for strangers. I’ll take good friends’ referrals, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go. I don’t want to market, schedule, or shoot strangers. It’s not my thing. ** There’s plenty of talented (and untalented) photographers around, call them. I’ll even refer you to someone I trust.
But when you don’t want to take sessions and you fall into a creative funk, that’s a scary drop. Because if you fall far enough, there’s no one to pull you out. No one on your schedule to force you back in love. Fall back in love or else your income dries up. But when you do photography for yourself, you just respect the funk. Know it will pass and patiently wait.
Well, I’ve been waiting and waiting for the funk to end. I’ve been blaming work and busy house. I’ve been hoping the light sparks again. I’ve been telling myself, “This will pass. It always does.” Then I sink deeper into the funk and spend a few days not caring if it ever ends. What’s the point? I’m not doing it for a living or even extra cash? I was doing it for me. And if I don’t care, why do I invest in feeling guilty about being funky. Bad funky. Not the awesome funky. I push through the 366 because I signed up and I’m too stubborn to give up. I keep taking a few pictures of the kids because one day they’ll hate my camera. But with every day, I sink further into “What’s the point?”
I don’t think giving up the 366 will make my funk go away. I don’t think photographing strangers will help. I don’t think doing another project will fuel my creativity. Maybe my honeymoon is over and if I just accept that the glow is gone, I’ll get to the comfortable zone of photography. But that sounds like a woman in a shitty marriage saying, “He treats me like crap. The kids are grown. I’m old. And at least I have a roof over my head.” Bad analogy? Makes sense in my head. I just feel like I’m been treading water with photography for the past two months and sometimes I just want to sink and let it go. Because what’s the point?
Here’s the point that keeps me kicking my legs: when it’s good, it feels pure and golden. It feels like the most honest and beautiful thing I can produce. I think most creative people can identify with this reason. It’s the only thing that keeps me snapping those 366. But while I still have a shred of passion (eew, I hate this word) left, I’m invested in trying to fix this funk. I’m reading “People Pictures” by Chris Orwing and “Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images” by David duChemin. I’m planning on using the summer to really learn and understand Lightroom. I feel pretty comfortable in Photoshop, but knowing both would be nice. I want to schedule some photowalks (email me if you’re in Columbus) and use this weather to my advantage. Forgive me is I wax on about my photographic style in an attempt to find it. Forgive me if I post randomly or if the style seems like it’s against the grain. I have to figure out the Point of it all. And if all that fails, I’ll chuck the camera and I’ll wait for a different hobby to sink into my heart. Tatting or calligraphy could use some new followers. If you really want me to avoid knots and ink, give me some advice. What helps you when you get bad funky? What books do you reach for? Sites you have to check to perk yourself up? Kick my ass, please.
**Side note to my Family & Friends: call me. I’d be thrilled to document your lives. Having a baby? Call me. I’ll attempt to move my schedule around.