Fall is usually my favorite season to photograph, but this fall I found myself in a huge photo funk. Yes, I still picked up a camera in some form every day (for the most part to continue with my 365), and I posted on my blog off and on. But I was not feeling it, and my photos. . . well they could have been pulled out of last year’s library. I was shooting the same thing over and over. I was on auto mode. I was frustrated and disconnected, but worst of all, I was bored.
I decided what I needed was to spend some candid time with my photos. I thought this would be easiest by going back into my flickr photo stream, even though I had not posted much there in a while.
On flickr I have things organized into albums and sets so I was able to easily browse through photos in a somewhat logical manner. I could also note the day they were taken and my camera settings. Right away I noticed patterns. And while my older photos were not as crisp, or composed as well, I found I liked them, sometimes better than some of my newer ones. They spoke to me in an honest manner. They felt like they were more my own.
Something else I noticed was my thinking process after I uploaded my photos to my computer. I automatically culled them according to how I would share them. I flagged some for my blog, flagged some for sharing on IG, and choose one for my daily photo. I often deleted those that didn’t fit one of those modes.
I had to ask myself this: when did my photos stop being just for me?
To get out of this funk I laid out some simple intentions. It seemed logical to start with what remains of this year’s 365, because that would keep me shooting every day. But instead of shooting willy nilly, I set myself some ground-rules:
I will make this photo a priority
I will work towards capturing my emotions and make a private note about what I was feeling while shooting
I will limit the amount of photos I take to just three (choosing one)
I will take my time, be conscious of my camera settings and composition
These tiny intentions have helped me be more deliberate in everything I shoot, be it a photo with my phone while out walking the dog, or a specific trip somewhere to take photos. I finally feel as if I am crawling out of that hole. I also am keeping more and more of my photos private, printing them instead of posting them.
Just for me.