I've not been very vocal here lately. I keep writing down topic ideas for the blog—good ones—but then I don't follow up. I've got this huge list in 2Do just sitting there, waiting for me to sit down and commit. But here I am instead... touchy feely ramblings and all. I'm sure you find this incredibly interesting.
My good friend Bert Stephani started a series on KAGE Collective entitled My Photographic Mid-Life Crisis; he published the first instalment—Chaos—in issue 005 last week. I love that he's sharing his insecurities with the world instead of putting on the requisite Brave Hero Face™. It's so easy to just pretend we have superpowers in this age of social veneer. A few months ago, a friend of mine had a similar idea—sharing inner struggles online through a video project—but he ultimately decided against it, afraid of client repercussions, perception. Afraid of losing a certain aura of invincibility. I can understand that; there's no shame in keeping the darker side of ourselves secret. But it's a fragile edifice we build when we rely on pretences, one that can come tumbling down when we least expect it. It may be naive but I prefer laying it out there for all to see, damn the consequences.
The reality of photography—or any creative work—is rooted in struggle. Ups and downs, doubt, elation, more doubt. Good months and bad months. Years, sometimes. Moments when you feel the entire world is up for grabs and then absolute despair. Clarity of vision is always momentary because questions inevitably creep in, no matter how successful we are. I look at Bert's work and see nothing but fantastic images but it doesn't matter: he's feeling empty right now and feels a need to reassess. And it's scary and overwhelming—I know—but the fact is, it's the only fucking way to grow. Like it or not, we transform through slash and burn.
Yeah, yeah...touchy feely again.