I’m not one of those working photographers who takes pictures everyday. If I don’t have a client shoot I can go days without picking up a camera, weeks even. This isn’t some conscious decision to give myself a break from photography because I’m always intending to get my camera out, and I‘m forever obsessed with reading about or viewing photography. It’s just……honestly I don’t know what it is. The closest I can get to understanding what is going on within me is that it *matters* so much that I erroneously believe I can’t “kinda sorta” photograph. No, I must get fully suited up, do all sorts of warm up exercises, and then plunge into it with all my being. Frankly, I don’t often have that kind of time on my hands, and when I do I can get so exhausted merely contemplating the photographic process that I decide instead to read a book, overhaul a closet, or watch my cats bathe themselves.
Breaks from photographing are dangerous for me though, and even as I recognize that I’m slipping into the murky abyss that too many days without pressing a shutter release inevitably lands me, it’s incredibly difficult to pull myself out. I can get lost in there quick because it‘s pretty dark. These are the moments when I totally get that Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” He was on to something there, for sure.
I’m just smart enough to understand that what drives resistance is always fear, but apparently not intelligent enough to remember that moving forward in spite of resistance doesn’t require bold sweeping gestures but only taking a single step. So it’s a lucky thing that my livelihood requires me to actually pick up the camera, or I’d be in a heap of trouble. I go into every single shoot afraid, but still I pick up my camera and meet my subject. Have to, it’s my job. And then, after those first shaky shots are taken and I begin the quest of looking both outward and inward for evidence of the Divine, I somehow forget to be afraid. Before I know it I’m breathing easier, and I’m at home no matter the location, not lost at all.
Here I am.