This morning I woke up to golden light dappling through my bedroom blinds onto my closet doors. As I rubbed sleep from my eyes, I watched the light as it glimmered in front of me like a shimmering curtain into another world. I lay entranced for a moment, then in a burst of inspiration ran to get my camera. I wanted to capture this moment, this fleeting ethereal feeling.
It’s been a while since reaching for my camera has been my first response in moments like these. Ever since starting a photography business with my dear friend last year, and subsequently quitting when I discovered that I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would, I have been left feeling uncertain of my place in the photography world. I spent the year taking photos to make other people happy, and forgot what it felt like to make photos for myself—creating for pure enjoyment of it. I didn’t know what I was looking for anymore. It was almost like I kind of forgot how to see through a lens.
Not that I didn’t learn a lot of valuable lessons last year—I did! I learned a whole lot on the technical side of photography, and I learned a lot about my camera. I learned a lot of what-to-do’s and even more what-not-to-do’s! I had a ton of fun with Nicole. We got to travel together, (including going to Colorado to shoot a wedding!) laugh together, and be absolutely and completely terrified together. It was a totally awesome experience and I don’t regret a moment of it. But when all was said and done, I just knew that photography as a business was just not for me.
Still, the year was spent taking photos for others. I didn’t take many photos for myself. Most of my photos from last year that aren’t business related were taken on my iPhone. So I lost this sort of sense of who I was as an artist—as a photographer. It took me quite a while to want to pick up my camera again because I just wasn’t sure what I wanted from it.
Until the last couple months, anyway. I started to really crave my camera, to really desire to start capturing the world as I see it again. I thought, maybe I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I’m never going to find it if I don’t start picking up my camera again! So I’ve been playing. What do I want to see? I ask myself this question. Not, what will everyone else like? But, what will I like? As I’ve been exploring photography again, I’m feeling increasingly inspired. I just want to play; to create without any agenda except to express myself.
I feel like I am starting a whole new chapter as a photographer, as a visual artist. This time I am starting from the inside out. It feels good.
Also, Happy Spring Equinox! There’s something extra special about the light today. :)