I’ve been really bad at taking photos this summer.
And by that I mean, I’ve shot a number of good macros, though not enough to justify the cost of that new lens I bought back last fall. I’ve also dragged the camera out to special events and holidays, clicking off more than my equitable share of snapshots of the same, but those occasions have been few and far between. Additionally, I have a ton of excuses and by far I’ve been enjoying the whole videographer thing a little more frequently than I should, so the big dSLR usually gets left home in favour of the pocket sized HD video camera. And there is too that the big camera is always just sitting there: charged, ready, waiting, though it simply, sadly, disappointingly-in-retrospect after a missed photogenic moment just doesn’t seem to get out enough. I… well… find excuses to not take as many pictures as I used to take.
Thus, my claim that I’ve been really quite bad at taking photos.
(And I should fix that: maybe for August, the Fringe Festival approaching and all, and it being my *volunteer* job to help manage the photography team. I’ll be out. Thinking of photos. Making pictures. Taking pictures. Working on photo skills and moments to create in digital form. Or… and… maybe for August it becomes a photo-a-day kinda month. There are option to improve things. What say?)
I know the reason I’ve been so bad at taking photos this summer… and also, by the way, terribly bad this past spring, past winter, and past fall, too. The reason has been that it’s pretty much stopped being fun. Sorry. That’s just it. Too many people have turned it into a job for me. Too many people — though no one, single person is in any way to blame but myself — have just sorta said: oh. Brad has a camera and he likes taking photos, so… “hey… bring your camera when…” and there it goes. The fun, I mean. Down the drain. Bye-bye.
I let it happen to myself. It wasn’t you. It was me. I suck at saying no. I suck at getting out of participation. And I do like participation, which is part of the reason. But participation then leads to obligation and obligation quickly rolls into co-dependency… and that just opens up a whole set of quasi-effectual frustrations about why I’m actually doing what I’m doing, and how to get out of it. The summary of that is simply this: my photography was for me — it used to be my thing, that I did, and I shared what I wanted to share — then it became for others to share, and now I don’t get the same joy out of it I used to: my joy is co-dependent on others. And I let that thing happen to myself.
This really means two things: First, I’m going to attempt to make it for myself again. Meaning… I’m going to stop doing photographic favors for anyone (besides standing commitments) for at least the next year. If you haven’t already asked, it’s now too late. Don’t. Don’t ask for a favour. I will say no. Deal. And second, I’m going to break that co-dependency and give myself some reason to enjoy it again, likely a personal project that will cross into the content-generating efforts of this blog and other spaces… or whatever… but I’ll give myself until the start of August (in just a couple days) to finalize what that means, exactly. It might make for some good posts next month. It might not even register. I can’t say quite yet.
It just this: I’ve been really bad at taking photos this summer because I’ve had a lot of vague frustrations about what taking pictures has actually meant for me… and for who it has been done lately. So, I’m fixing that.