Photographer David Eustace recently made a comment that I found truly valuable. He said, "I still love the line from the King's Speech, 'Yes, you do have a voice.' I wish more younger people would creatively express theirs these days, even in fear of making mistakes or sounding naïve, rather than sheepishly follow this awful recent trend where the popular route is often chosen simply to please others. As a dear friend, the artist Alex Main once said, 'Mediocrity will always be at its best.'" This statement has been the best advice I've heard in awhile and I really really needed it.
There's a reason why my camera sat on the shelf for a long time. Yes, I've taken a few photos here and there, but that drive that had been there years ago had diminished to where even taking family photographs have been few and far between. Why? My confidence was broken. I allowed frustration and mistakes to hinder me from moving forward, instead of forcing my way through them. I began fighting this battle that I think every artist fights at some point in their creative lives: pursue creative vision vs. pursuing what sells. In a conversation I had with a fellow photographer, not too long ago, there was this question of what audience we should be catering our photographs to. What I have been learning in the last few weeks is that that audience should first be me. Too often I think we tend to curb our vision to what we feel others will like as opposed to sticking true to what our vision is. Next thing we know, we have lost our own voice in the muddle. But it's never too late to step out and be. . . yourself.
In order to achieve anything in this life, we have to start somewhere, like right here, right now, with humility and perseverance. Today, I can honestly tell you that I am inspired. I am encouraged. My camera and I have been reacquainted and the reunion has been a beautiful one. I'm challenging myself to raise the bar a little higher. Step out a little further. Live life a little more fuller. I'm building my portfolio and in the process, I'm meeting and working with wonderful people. Personal projects are in the works. Ideas are flowing. Honestly, I'm starting to feel alive and awake again. It's like springtime in the soul! Ha! Looking forward to sharing these projects with you as they happen. Here's to perseverance! I hope I don't let you down! Thank you for letting me ramble this morning. Oh, before I go, here is a fantastic post written by another talented photographer, Chris Orwig. I hope it inspires you as it did me.