the photo funk and the want for more

have you ever seen somebody else’s work and think to yourself – “man!  that is awesome!  i WISH i could take a shot like that.”

maybe its a scene with elephants in the wild, or starving kids from some third world country, or a homeless series in a major city.

then you feel a little envious thinking maybe you could take a shot as great if you had that opportunity.  this happens to me all the time.  i dont have giraffes walking around in my back yard.  i dont have starving kids walking ox down a dirt road.  i do have a major city – but by fault of my own i dont have the nerve to photograph the homeless.  i’m still rationalizing this to myself.

i have to admit location after a while starts to kill your creativity.  but i wonder if its my own fault or if i’m experiencing a creative block.  honestly – one of the main reasons i’ve not posted many pics this past year is because i’ve not really taken many.  at least many i’m happy with.

i wonder if its creative block, short of time, lack of challenge, or somethin worse.  i havent taken a picture that i truly LOVED since last september.  yea, its been that long.  almost a year.  *sigh*

can a creative block last that long?  OMG – it pains me deeply to think how long its been since i’ve been excited to pick up the camera. sure i’ve been taking pictures.  with my pocket cam.  snapshots.  not the same.  its not a composed and framed image.  there is a difference between snapshots and effort made images regardless of what you think.

so is it lack of time?  i’m so busy these days that even when i THINK i have an idea – i dont have time to execute it.  work is exhausting, making time for family and friends, chores, yada yada yada… maybe its my fault for not making the time.  on the flipside, if i had an idea that was exciting enough i’d think i’d make the time.  i just dont know anymore.

i’ve been photographing for a while now. when i was younger i was a camera whore with the instamatic disposables.  i almost killed my little p&s kodak in 2003.  then finally in 2004 i pulled the trigger, invested in my first DSLR and been shooting ever since. i taught myself everything i know.  i know i dont know everything. but lately it seems that nothing interests me.  nothing screams – PHOTOGRAPH THIS! without sounding arrogant, its like nothing poses a challenge anymore.  no subjects interest me.  how many times can you take a picture of flowers and your cat before it gets old?  (ok, i’ll never stop taking pics of my kittehs, i lubs them too much)

then the scary angle.  the something worse part.  what if i lost the passion for it?  has this love died and i havent realized it?  i mean i have all the tools, equipment, and enough knowledge to make some fantastic images – and yet i dont.  why?  is it because i dont care anymore?  how would i know?

so where does this leave me?  not sure.  i can’t just toss this hobby out the window yet.  i have to figure out if i’m just experiencing a blockage or if i’m done.  i’ve got some ideas in the works but until i do it – i wont know.  i’m still on the fence.

does this happen to everyone?  i know writers get writers block – but is a creative block valid?  and is it normal that it lasts this long?  wtf??  why isnt it going away?  they say research other peoples work for inspiration but it just seems to make me feel worse.  i’m in a photo funk and i cant find my way out!

as a good friend of mine says, “this is slowly killing my soul”.

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3 thoughts on “the photo funk and the want for more

  1. I am going through (and have many times before) the same thing, although not quite to the same degree. I found that I’ve been successful in the past by putting my head down and forging ahead. Sometimes trying things out of character helps. The important thing is that you DO NOT STOP shooting. The longer you do, the higher the probability is that you will not start back up. By utilizing this bullheaded technique, I have discovered some things about myself and photography that I may not have otherwise and it has rekindled the fire, so to speak. Try a place that you have not been to before and just start shooting. The “newness” might help the stale feeling you have.

    Best of luck !

  2. thanks for stopping by Roy. its nice to hear words from another photographer.. one thing that i do miss after leaving the workhouse.

    i know what you mean but that bullheaded technique does come at a cost – at least for me. the way i’ve seen things is that if i keep producing mediocre work – it gets me down. so i usually step away from it and then come back after a while.

    i think you’re right about the new place thing – i’m going on a field trip soon and hopefully the scenery there will get rid of that stale feeling.

    thanks again for stopping by and we’ll have to get together for coffee soon.

  3. I feel the same way sometimes. I don’t think I would every photograph the homeless because I would feel LIke I was exploiting them. Try just going out shooting without a place or theme in mind, but only take one fixed lens to get creative. Good luck.

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