Several years ago, I went to a conference and one of the instructors said something like this:
“When I first started shooting, I shared everything. I was so excited to come home and post sneak peeks – because I loved the photographs, of course, but also because I wanted to seem busy and attract more clients. Then, as I got busier, my posting became less and less frequent and, because I had so many things to do and so many places to be, my posting dropped so low that it looked like I never photographed anything at all. Nowadays, I try to find a balance with sharing and shooting but, when you’re shooting all the time, finding that balance can be hard.”
Now. I’m not going to lie. When I heard this said by a photographer – an amazing photographer that I admired with my whole heart! – I blanched a bit and had to stop myself from rolling my eyes.
Most of this is because I’m a sassafrass but part of it was because I felt insulted that a photographer could have their dream career and not post all over the world about it. I mean, don’t all photographers want to shoot all of the time? I definitely do! I LOVE to shoot. I love to share my photographs. I love to blog my photographs and connect with other photographers and I love when I get into an editing groove that makes me want to sit at my computer for three days straight sporting my favorite pajamas, a ton of dry shampoo, and a desk full of coffee mugs and ice water. I love it so, so much. Like, even writing these things out tugs my heart because they are so essential to who I am. I love photography with my whole heart. I LOVE it. How could I ever not want to share my photographs?!
And then? Then! 2016 torpedoed into my life like a locomotive running at full speed ahead into a closed down tunnel… or like a Great White Shark jumping out of the ocean to grab a sea lion… or like a comic strip where a precocious child (or animal!) does a science experiment and it blows up in their face. Whatever it was like, 2016 hit me hard and fast and, a few days ago, I looked around and it was ending. And I barely even shared any photographs!! #eyerollkarma
2016 was basically an explosion – in both good and bad ways! – but, rather than focus on those explosions, I’m going to talk about the highlights of this year instead. This past year taught me so much about myself – as a wife, as a mother, as a business owner, as a photographer – but, most of all, it taught me that I am capable of doing so many different things and that, no matter how crazy some ideas and dreams are, those crazy ideas (and dreams!) can always be achieved. I have thought in depth about so many things this past year and, of those things, photography – and more specifically why I photograph the way I photograph – has been on top the very tip-top of the list.
When I first started photography, I was really interested in shooting only black and white film. I thought that, for photography to be art, it needed to be gritty and moody and dark. I like gritty and moody and dark as much as the next artist (read: very, very much) but, as my work evolved, it turned into something I never could have imagined. It’s not dark and moody or airy and light: it’s an explosion of color and a collision of feelings and hopes and laughter and life. When I take a photograph, I want to create images that make people feel loved. It’s not about the color. It’s not about the light. It’s not about the posing or the laughter or the details. It’s about love. It’s about making people feel butterflies when they see themselves in photographs and, more importantly, it’s about the way they’ll feel in fifteen years when they look back on their photographs. And when I look at my photographs? I want to feel that love, too. Otherwise, my photographs would just be pictures.
So! To 2016! You were brutal and crazy and bright and so, so full of love.
Thank you for the magic!
And YES! I totally threw iPhone photographs in this post, too.