Even though the start of the year wasn’t good with pandemic and the lockdown, I feel good about where I am with my photography. Instead of being frustrated with what I wasn’t doing I embraced what I actually was doing. I might be photographing lots of different things but with enough photos it’s inevitable to find a pattern or even several that can be turned into series. I even have ideas for books that can be a series of books.
What I will do going onward is to worry less and just photograph. Now that I have several series in mind it will let me look more with purpose.
Puh, it has taken too long and too much effort for me to try and settle for a new “look” for my photos. I wanted something with much stronger colours but at the same time felt “timeless” and incorporated things I liked with black and white photos.
Here’s an older photo that I took with my OnePlus 3 that I experimented with and I think I’m getting there. But the look mostly works with sunny Paris haha. So I made a preset for it to have a starting point but it only works for photos taken with my old OnePlus so need to do lots more tweaking for my other cameras.
I keep doing my daily photos but I seem to be only doing the bare minimum, it is as if I like the idea of being of being someone who photographs everyday instead of actually doing it. I say I am passionate about photography but I have to show it too and all this is mostly to myself. Photographing everyday shouldn’t feel like a shore, it should be something I do without even thinking about it. So it seems even in my pursuit of my passion I’m totally lazy and “faking it”. Not only is it that I don’t learn anything new this way but I don’t grow as a photographer. I can’t show anything good from it either. I’m using the circumstances of my life as an excuse, always thinking I can’t photograph what I want because either I don’t have any money, I don’t have a place to do my photography, or what ever the reason might be, the truth is that I’m too much of a coward. Let me explain. The thing is that I’m scared of, is not knowing how to do something, photographing I know, but it’s finding people to photograph that I have trouble with. That is a problem I have for life in general, I’m too isolated and feel it’s never “a good time” to reach out to friends or people, feeling that I can’t trust my future enough to allow me to make commitments or to come through my promises. The same with my photography, if I manage to find good opportunity for interesting photos. I get scared and hesitant that I won’t be able to pursue it because “reasons”.
So that’s how my 2019 pretty much was, me looking at people from afar and most often not even looking at people but inanimate objects because that’s “safe”.
I want to experience life, experience the world and thus always be in a good position to find good photos. What my photography has always been is to have a reason to explore, to travel, to experience, and to meet people. It’s the best tool I have to do what I want to do in life. So when I fail at my photography I fail my life, so that has to stop and something I need to concentrate on making a genuine effort going forward and not be held down by my self-esteem issues.
What I want photography to be. Finding a core, an essence of me and the world I see and the world I want to find. That should be my primary goal, why else would I be doing this? How else can I even do something that might be good? I have to look onward not just for 2020 but it should set the tone and foundation for what will be my photography for the foreseeable future. I might be putting too much pressure on it but it’s more about feeling and seeing where it takes me. I have to figure out what I really am interested about and explore it, whatever it is, even if it is just to try it out.
In the end of mars 2018 I was in a creative crisis, I simply asked myself, me as a photographer that doesn’t photograph, what am I? So I decided that from then on I would take one photograph at a minimum everyday, but not only take it, I had to post it online. My thinking was, that even if I can’t really photograph what I want to photograph, meaning erotic photography, then at least I should photograph something, if nothing else to practise and to experiment. So I started doing street photography. I decided also that I wouldn’t care too much if actually managed to take a good photo or not, this project would be mostly about experimenting and actually feeling like a photographer, which means thinking and looking like one at all times which I kind of lost because how life went and not keeping up with photographing.
So now a year later, I have to say it was way easier than I thought it would be. Sure there were some near misses where I almost forgot but the vast majority of days I managed to capture something. I also very much appreciate that I gave myself “permission” to not have good photos because I do feel I get insights with my experimentation with filters and colour. Those days when I was being overly lazy and mostly want to do other stuff I had to figure out how to still take a photo, so knowing I had that loose quality freedom made it all much more fun. I’ve mostly been using my phone and that has been a hugely humbling experience, since I again have to learn about technical limitations but it also makes me realise that a good photo is still good when it’s technically bad. So to be able to always take the photo is far far more important than any technical issue.
Some problems that I realised about myself were as I mentioned I can be a bit lazy, I spend way too little time each day actually taking photos, some days I just take one or two photos. I am also a huge coward, you can tell in my photos that there are no risks taken and there is always a distance. I have to also get over my “shyness” where I often don’t go near the subjects and avoid interacting with them, mostly because I don’t want to get stuck talking with someone and just want to be on my way. That leads to me not really exploring anything to any real depth, so everything is kind of things I don’t really care about, because if it would be something I cared about I would have to actually make an effort.
Going forward I will continue my experimentation with colour and filters, because I’m trying to figure something, not sure exactly what but I feel I’m on to something and I need to find it. I will also try to do more explicit and vulgar experiments and I really need to try and explore more sexuality and erotism in my photography, even if it is street photography. I have to start doing what I say I am about, what I care about.
At the end of each month I will post some photos from the last years month, a look back. Starting next week with April.