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?