Create for yourself. Seems so obvious, but it’s so hard to do.
Beyond the demands of earning a living, raising a family, finding time to relax with friends and the undeniable need for sleep, there is that nagging feeling in my gut to create personal work. When you only create at the request of others, ignoring your own desires and opinions, you only stand to hurt yourself in the long run.
I posted the following quote from Alec Soth on Self-Assignment a few months ago and I can’t escape it’s truth:
… I just want to shake them and tell them to photograph whatever they want. I tell them to pretend that they have a museum in their basement. It is locked and they are the only person with a key. I tell them to close their eyes and imagine what pictures they see down there. It can be anything, just be honest. Then make those pictures.
Until the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to make time to shoot for myself. But carving out that time coupled with pushing myself to experiment has been a blessing. Not only am I super excited about pursuing a new approach, I am elated with the final images I’m seeing. And… I’m taking risks with how I create. When a photographer creates with digital tools, there is no risk once they’ve captured the image. They can adjust and push their images a million different ways in post-production before they settle on the final output. Risk is scary but it’s pushing me into worlds that I have yet to explore.
I’m ecstatic to be creating again on my terms. And thrilled to see results that, until now, I’ve only seen in my mind’s eye.