May. 2nd, 2010
I have not done much in the photography realm; before yesterday, the last thing I did was make photos of myself after I cut my hair. The truth is I have felt overwhelmed to the point of feeling uninspired.
I feel guilty for not doing more with my photography talent. I am not entering every contest whose call for entries crosses my inbox. Right now I am not updating my Etsy shoppe. I am not renting booths at craft fairs, pursuing commissions and clients, or advertising. I haven't given up on marketing my photography; I simply haven't felt driven to do any of that right now. As a result, I feel as though I am wasting my talent, because I am not doing extraordinary things with it. If this train of thought feels familiar, it is because I am in danger of doing the same thing with my photography that I've done in the past with my professional life.
That is the problem right there: my belief that I am supposed to transform myself into something "extraordinary". What is wrong with developing and enjoying and sharing my talent simply for the joy of doing so? I gladly accept whatever clients or commissions come my way, but why must I push myself to seek others and berate myself for not passionately pursuing fame? Why must I attempt to have a "voice"?
What if just being myself, doing my own thing, and allowing my own voice to come through is extraordinary?
The more I think about it, the more it seems that is what most of the independent artists/bloggers I enjoy are doing: expressing themselves in their own way. In some cases fame has found them, but they were just being themselves, not actively seeking fame. The ones who became famous became so, not because they were trying to rope in fame, but because someone appreciated their normal voice.
Yesterday I went with friends to Central Park. The weather was warm and sunny, and I took my camera. I promised myself I would enjoy my time in the park and make whatever photos I pleased. I did not worry about making a statement or finding a niche. I did not worry about making myself into some kind of "extraordinary" or making marketable photos. I simply relaxed and enjoyed myself, and that was not a waste of my talent at all.
Bicycle Taxi Driver in Central Park