This is probably going to be a longer post than I really wanted it to be, but hear me out. Please. I just need to rant for a little bit.
If you have been following me lately you may have noticed a lack of distinct “photographic” content coming the last few months (if not longer). Simply put, I am just not feeling very inspired lately.
For the last almost a year I have been working at a new job. I’ll spare you all of the details, but lets just say that I thought that this was going to be an opportunity for myself to grow creatively and get new work done. I was even encouraged in the interview to do so. However day by day the longer I am here the more I realize I am just spending too much time looking at other people’s work, and not nearly enough time creating more of my own.
I haven’t even had the drive to pick up or even look at my camera gear since July…or whenever it was that I last posted anything.
Most of the time I just feel like I have lost the “spark”, while simultaneously feeling burnt out with just about everything. On the one hand I can’t really complain. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and my bills are getting paid (barely in some cases but thats a whole other story all together). But on the other hand I notice myself getting more and more frustrated as the days go by.
I am tired. Not really in the physical sense (although that also is a subject pretty close to my heart). But more often than not I am looking at things and saying “why even bother?”. I’m told this is a normal part of human existence…but I don’t like this. “Well Blake–“ you might say, “keep pushing through, the only way to get through this is to keep working”. And you would be right. However I am just not sure how to do that most of the time. On a daily basis I get home from work too tired to do much of anything that doesn’t involve Netflix or my cat. And on my one real day off from work a week, I am more likely to spend it with people that I like to spend time with because it gets me out of my apartment.
It even seems like many of the regular models I work with have become tired of what I do. And to be completely transparent and honest, I’m more than a little jealous when I see them working with other Photographers. But at the same time I at least feel a little happiness to see that they aren’t depending on me and not doing what they do.
Wrap all of that around a nice big bow of “For a photographer that uses the tag line ‘I shoot people’ you sure don’t know where to find people to shoot’” and things start spiraling into a circle of self loathing. (Hell most of the time I don’t even carry business cards around with me anymore which is terribly stupid. I mean, how else will anyone in the rare chance that I meet anyone even get a chance to see what I do?
Facebook once was a great source and place to post new work, meet new people, and attempt to develop a “community” of sorts that can see what I was doing and provide feedback. Even if that community was made of mostly of my friends, at least my work was getting seen. Recently however, Facebook has made it very clear that unless I am willing to pay…nothing I say or do will show up in your timeline. I’m willing to be that this won’t even get seen by half of you unless I repost it to my personal page.
I have started spending more of my time on Twitter lately. At least I am able to occasionally share something that could be considered interesting and have slowly been gathering “followers”. Whether or not they actually see any of my work is another story as well. Mostly because if they are anything like I was when I started…I am just following people that follow other things that I like.
The sad fact is that in the grand sense of the world, I am invisible. Most of anyone that follows me are people that I already know in person and associate with at least mildly regularly. Just to be clear I’m not asking all of you to whore me out to your friends list. I may be shameless when trying to plug myself, but I’m not going to resort to becoming some internet chain letter (although I do know someone who can make you a millionaire if you Western Union him $100 US Dollars).
I crave conversation and interaction. Plain and simple. There is an old saying that I am sure you have heard that goes “it does’t matter if people are saying good things about you, or bad things, as long as they are saying something”
And to be blunt, nobody is fucking talking about me.
I’m not ready for my Warhol 15 minutes to be up yet.
So what does all of this really mean. Well for one I want to make it clear that I am not giving up (which very well may be the first or a very important series of steps). I still have a few projects I would like to complete sooner than later. Many of which I have been alluding to over the last few years. Two of which I won’t go into too much detail about right now, because they are going to require a lot of leg work…and financial backing of some sort (and in the case of one at least a lot of cross country and maybe even global travel).
The other two are still possible but are going to require a lot of discipline (which I have, or I’d like to think so anyway).
Starting soon (realistically after the first of the year) I am going to take a step back from photography as I have “known” it so to speak. I am making a goal to shoot 52 rolls of film (one per week), and post images regularly. I’m still trying to decide if these will follow any sort of theme. I haven’t really worked that out yet. I feel that digital photography in my case has become more of a crutch than anything in my last few times I have done anything. Its so easy to just “spray and pray” and hope to cull things down. I’m not hoping to give up digital entirely, but I do want to remind myself what started this whole adventure in the first place.
I would also like to put more effort into shooting the “self censorship” project I have been talking about for a while now. I’m sure if you have talked to me in person I have probably mentioned it to you, and I believe I even have mentioned it in my various communications with all of you friends and followers. I am in the “casting” process for this one and hopefully will have the seeds planted very soon
Well thats about it, thanks for hanging in there. I don’t say it near enough but if you are keeping up with what I do I sincerely thank you. Without people like you and your encouragement I would have given up long ago.