There comes time that I have to take inventory of what and why I am doing what I am doing. It’s not about justifying gear or computers, software or any tangible items. It’s about Intent and the Fulfillment of Intent. Believe me, it’s a heck of a lot easier to justify buying gear than it is to check your motivators and what drives them and the hunt for satisfaction. I mean, I could say, I need a new lens, save up the ducketts and get the lens. Case closed. Yeah, I want the New Fujicanikonlei camera. Save up the money, (no ducketts for this camera)….get it and once again, case closed.
What comes to me in this thought train is….what is the common denominator? There is one and that’s what needs to be addressed. Perhaps Olivier was right when he wrote his piece on GAS, Gear Acquisition Syndrome. So, if gear is a deterrent for close evaluation of the work and the process, what is it hiding? What is the TRUTH that we all need but yet fear? Why do we fear this TRUTH and why do we not address it?
When I was an ADMIN at Amin’s forum, M43.com, many many members would ask about gear in the open threads. It was and still is the most user friendly forum still in use. There would be many opinions raised and facts that sprang forth and all was settled because everyone had that in common, gear. Some knew that I had a long history in photography and with galleries etc. So, sometimes I would get a message or email requesting a conversation about someones photos. I loved it and always responded quickly.
The point is, not that the questions were asked but…..the fact that they asked me in private and not in the open forum. I found that very interesting. It means that with gear etc, all can chime in and no feelings get hurt. Then when they wanted my opinions about their work, that became very personal and also very touchy. So we would do sessions in private.
I sought the common denominator above and truth of what that is. It’s vision and the judgement of such vision. Everything a photographer does or thinks about is about VISION and the PHOTOGRAPH. We can buy gear, read books, collect images, buy software and take workshops, go to universities and it all comes down to VISION and the IMAGE. Everything, every single thing you think about or manage to do can be used as a deterrent. It also can be used as a means to an end providing you stand in the face of your work, recognize that work, recognize that you are the maker and the one accountable for that work.
Keep in mind that there are many masters to compare to, many friends and many you don’t and never will know. There are photos plastered all over the world. Yours are just some in the mix. There are shooters that work and get paid high bucks, many that work hard and get little bucks. Many shooters are in it just to have something to do, many want the fame and sometimes fortune that may happen. There are those among us that want to use photography as a tool to meet people.
The motivators are to many to fathom. So, what we need to do i stop hiding from our work. Stop running from the fear of acceptance or rejection.
What matters not just in the end, that implies that the journey is over, but what matters is you standing with full accountability in front of the mirror of yourself and your work and say…..
I am the one who saw and made these photos. Good, bad or indifferent, I am proud to be accountable for this work and my life in photography. Regardless of what others think or say or feel, I will not be controlled or sidetracked by them.
I stand naked here with my photos and recognize the fact….hmmmm wait a sec. Don’t stand naked around and have your photos… I think I might understand but spouses and parents and siblings and mostly…. shrinks will never get it.
Be blessed my friends. Remember, what you do and think is in your photos. Find and make them interesting for YOU. The others may or may not get it but you need to.