Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Thinking Space

I wanted to take some time off this morning to think. I have a pretty packed day ahead - not necessarily stressful, but just a series of places to be (and let's be honest, I still haven't gotten around to having breakfast yet). But I was editing and tweaking this new blog template, and at the same time, I was thinking to myself - why haven't I posted anything here lately?

When I started this blog, I made a commitment that I would only post if I had produced photography that was worth displaying and talking about. Of course, these guidelines are very vague. How do I justify that my images are good - somebody else might disagree. And how do I know that it's worth talking about? (I don't publicise my work very often, so I don't hear about it from others, certainly). But I also realised that the important thing isn't necessarily what I think these guidelines - of good and worthwhile photography - are, but rather that I set them for myself and I change them accordingly, so long as I am always growing.

I haven't really thought that deeply about me and photography - this relationship we have. I'm always working on photography, I like to think. I'm not necessarily making big leaps between subject matter (I still find landscapes a mystery and challenging), but I try to get better at this process of capturing people.
The thing is I can make these claims to myself, but I rarely look back and really recognise the progress that I've made. I literally don't do this thing where I go back to the beginning of my blog archive and compare. I literally don't do this, so I never fully get this sense that I've made progress. But I know I have and it feels good to recognise that.

The next stage of this thought process is the self-doubt. I struggle to take myself seriously as a photographer. I say I take photos, but I'm not a photographer. I am a photography intern. I am a student with a photography portfolio. I am not (yet) a photographer.
But the thing is, when will this 'yet' - this moment where I decide I am worthy of being a photographer happen? Do I need to be published in print? Do I need to exhibit? How dedicated to photography must I be - does it have to be my career and not something on the side?

Alice introduces me to people as a 'fashion photographer'. She is literally the only person who does this and yet she gives me a sense of validation - just one person telling me that I am a photographer makes me believe it - even if it's just for a moment. That's pretty powerful.

But I also know that it's problematic to look to external sources of validation and acceptance. Self-love and confidence and belief should come from within. I should think that I'm a photographer inside, before I believe it from other people. So that's the question I'm facing. Do I believe that I'm a photographer? Or am I just hesitant about what it looks like - that I might think of myself as a photographer, and really, I'm being silly. Honey, who do you think you are?

I'm whoever I goddamn want to be.

That should be the answer, but for whatever reason, I'm not there yet.

Have a good day, kids.
M. x

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Not a Bad Photo

I've only been to two Vivid's (counting this year), but the experience this year was pretty fantastic. I'm honestly so glad that we organised to go with all our photography friends this year. To be honest, I had a lot of uncertainties about photographing Vivid. I had never really done landscapes before, and I didn't know what I was doing. But I decided to try it out, and I guess there were a couple that I didn't mind too much.

Still, what I appreciated most were the fantastic golden hour portraits, which I have a huge selection to choose from. My new D610 is absolutely incredible when it comes to sharpness and shooting on my new f1.4 was also such an incredible thrill. It's actually so hard to take a bad photo during golden hour.


This month is shaping up to be a good one for photography.
I realised that it's easy to let yourself get stuck in a rut, or start to lose faith in yourself, or lose perspective. When I started out in photography, I didn't think I was very good. A couple of months ago, I'd think that my photos were better than they were, but I didn't feel like I had improved. To be frank, I felt as though I was operating a point and shoot, because that's what I literally did - I pointed a camera and shot.

But to say that was all I did would be doing myself a disservice, because there are a myriad of things I might not have even realised I was considering. I was improving, but I just wasn't really noticing it and giving myself the credit I deserved. Don't lose perspective. Every bit of experience and practice we get adds up.

Have a good week guys, and take some time to appreciate yourself!
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