Shooting objects close up.

My son was playing/working at the kitchen table the other rainy afternoon, and when he migrated elsewhere in the house (ok…the FLAT), my very independent daughter got a snack and sat down to read.  This freed up the objects that an 8 year old boy gathers and combines, and I was motivated enough visually to go grab my camera.  I am enthralled with little biographical snippets of life.  I am also having fun with things up close.  But the strange thing is that the minute I start photographing one of the objects, I am excited by the look, and at the same time, am hearing loud internal voices that are denigrating the images.  They are not polished enough…they are silly little record shots, if I put them up on my website people will think I am a hack without an ounce of self-knowledge, they’ve been done before, what is the point and so on and so forth.  Wow.

I immediately went from the fun of the moment, and the pretty result, to some place far down a road which practically puts out the fire.  I think this is one of those major struggles for me.  The bar for success is set so high, that I cannot explore by doing because the doing is interrupted so quickly.  It is not enough to explore.  It has to be ready for the gallery wall.  I think that pretty much dooms any chances of getting on the gallery wall.

I think this is one of the dilemmas for those of us with busy lives that don’t allow for enough shooting.  There is ALWAYS something that SHOULD be done, and I forget to use that camera.  I don’t carry it, I don’t set up enough shoots (digital is free…what is stopping me?), and I just don’t take enough photos.  Leaving the 8×10 sitting on the shelf is understandable at the moment (although I do love it, but probably for a bunch of the wrong reasons).  But this pressure (all from inside) to be “special” all the time, is quite destructive.  The most fun I have when shooting is when I play.  And the pictures are better when I play.  And play is fun.  So why not play more?

Good question.

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3 Comments

  1. Like all the best artists, you torture yourself with the pursuit of perfection! And that’s what makes you such a fantastic artist. But remember that Van Gogh also went crazy! Play play play. It’s the only antidote…

  2. This is a universal problem for artists. I hope you know you are not alone. We constantly have to try to put that inner critic in the corner where it belongs and give ourselves permission to play.

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