In a Land Far Away... Central Newfoundland
Ever make a really hard choice, then realize after you do, that it was the most fantastic thing you've done for yourself in a long time?
And it wasn't a matter of being a quitter, or a failure, or a lazy good-for-nothing. But more like the blinders came off, and for the first time you could see all the chaos, all the unwanted clutter and stress, and how it all really wasn't a good fit from the start?
I've decided to, (brace yourselves), move on from the business of photography. This does not mean I'm stepping away from photography itself, because I love working with a camera, I love exploring, I love producing prints... it means I am no longer going to exhaust myself trying to maintain it as a business. You'll notice I didn't say I was "giving up"... because if my 5 years of determined struggling is any indication, I do not fall into the "quitter" category! Rather, I am aiming for something better, for me personally. Something stripped down, creatively productive, and less intense.
And it feels right. I'm no longer fighting insomnia. I have time to be a wife again. I have time to invest in others. I'm exercising. It's time to invest in the other parts of me that the insanity of a business blocked me from. And I was trying all the things experts said would succeed, believe me. But sometimes it's just not meant to be. When I look back, even in the last year, I spent too much time thinking I had to be the next Jasmine Star/David DuChemin/Ansel Adams combined. It was what everyone around me was doing, and it was what well meaning fans and friends assumed I could easily pull off just cause I can take a good photo. I tried, and tried, and tried some more! Instead I was resenting the camera, which before brought me joy, and I was avoiding clients, ironic since I'm truly a "people person." And the more I thought about it, the more I realized, "I don't need a do-over! What I need is to move on."
I've been spending the last while quietly phasing it all out, down to where it's just myself, my images, and a few online communities where I can simply grow as an artist, including getting back to blogging. Will I still do the odd shoot for friends?... if they ask. Will I be opposed to selling the odd print? Never... it'd be a thrill. I still have a few clients to finish the odd project for, I'm not bailing on them either. And I will continue to ramble, gosh darn it! It's just not going to be the giant desperate shadow following me around, threatening to overpower me if I don't look productive, feel competitive, or try to beat the trends before they happen. I'm going to do photography for me.
What will you see on the blog?... real life. Big images and simple snap shots. I do have a personal project or two under wraps. And we'll see what happens. With the pressure off, the joy has returned, new experiences await, and I'm free to expand into new territory that was once just a day dream... that's the benefit of moving on.
I'm done with do-overs. Let's move forward.
Would love to hear your stories of when the decision to move forward was the right one and how you felt... let's get some replies up here!
Have a good one gang, and thanks for the ramble...