Catching Confidence In A Single Shot

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
Aaron Siskind

Photography it’s a medium I love immeasurably. When I’m behind the camera my aspirations are immediately tied up in that single action, the fall of my finger on the button. Then with the moment chosen, the shutter clicks. I’ve preserved something forever, something that moved me enough to grasp onto it and not let go.

Back in March I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon snapping pictures at a local function venue, in preparation for our friend’s wedding. The place was Trent’s Vineyard. It was rustic and gorgeous, everything I love, especially the doves ( I adore birds). That day and the opportunities thereafter provided  a much needed boost to my creative confidence.

Even though the creative arts is probably my niche, the thing I am best at- I often feel like my creations are, well, less than… I’m not a salesperson, or if I am one, I’m a salesperson who has very little confidence in the product. When people ask me what I do, I often get really awkward, playing it down, always adding that I actually do work part-time for an Eco-tourism business, because yeah, somehow that seems much more respectable, less dreamy, and vague. Dreamy and vague- that’s me down to a tee. Personally I think part of the problem is that I’ve never studied any of it formally– writing, photography and art, it’s all largely self taught. So yeah there’s this feeling of being an impostor. I create because I have that inclination. I have to and I’m in love the process, but I’m also not completely sure what I am doing half the time… Or rather I sort of know, but it is an intangible type of knowing. An untrained instinct which is slowly being refined.

It’s hard, because I came from a family of artists who primarily made money doing things other than art. That fact has left me with this deep seated fear/belief that an artistic career will never be enough to sustain me and my family. I know that doesn’t have to be true but breaking out of that mindset is so hard, especially since it is a myth that has been so perpetuated.  The Starving Artist Trope. There’s always that nagging voice, that societal assumption that creating art/ writing is somehow less desirable than other careers. That it’s merely a hobby and has nothing tangible to offer society. “Grow up and get a real job” the world seems to say, “don’t even try, you have a better chance winning lotto“. “Go on. go out a buy a lotto ticket instead of slaving over that piece of art.”

But it doesn’t have to be true.

I want to believe that each of us who choose to create, do have something completely unique to offer the world- a part of ourselves- and that IS valuable!  One of the sayings that keeps me writing even when I doubt myself is “No-one can write exactly the way you do” (I believe this can be applied right across the arts). Ideas, plots, subject matter all those things are limited and are therefore frequently repeated, however the writer/artist’s worldview, beliefs, passions, their style and aesthetic, all those things are ingredients to something uniquely special . As an artist, if you are digging deep, You ARE offering the world something different and there is absolutely a place for you. When looking at a scene, you can be sure that you will feel differently about it, see something different from the person next to you. Our unique bias ( and I’m not using that word negatively)- it’s a gift. So be reassured. That amazing imagination  of yours will offer the world an interpretation that is purely your own. And despite what the world tries to tell you, what you create, your art, IS WORTH something because it is one of a kind.

Because you are worth something too.

And that’s it! Gaining that heartfelt understanding that what I create is actually worth something was one of the biggest hurdles I have had to overcome as a creator. Honestly though, I’m still working on it.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
Elliott Erwitt

So, here are a few of my own pictures. Welcome to my curious little world  where I try to capture that restless ever-changing dance between light and dark.

IMG_5181v3 wm
The Doves

 

shrouds3 copy
Shrouded (Photo-manipulation, digital art)

 

 

Isaac 8 edit copy
Awaiting The Tide (Model: Isaac C)

 

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