Just For Me

In Conversation, Digital

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.

Xo. Cathy 

sunday || november 10th • brooding
monday || november 11th • worry
tuesday || november 6th • playful
wednesday || november 14th • cautious
thursday || november 15th • calm
friday || november 16th • reflective
saturday || november 17th • love

7 Comments

  1. This is so lovely, Cathy. Thanks for sharing your plan and for the encouragement to keep going even when in the inevitable funk. LOVE this set of photographs, especially photo #2 – that b/w photo, beautiful even if the emotion behind it (“worry”) was not. What a blessing it is to be able to see beauty even in the midst of those dark emotions!

  2. Oh Cathy – you are living in my brain?! I have been feeling this, this year too. Looking back over older photos and wishing I could tap into that feeling again. I feel everything you’re saying – I’m going to take your lead! x

  3. Cathy. These so much more intense with your captions. I am sure you will love them all the more in the future when you are looking back. x

  4. Cathy, even while in a funk your photos are incredible. I have been in a funk myself, tired of trying to find a new way to photograph the world around me. I like your intentions and your thoughts on printing photos just for your own pleasure.

  5. Cathy, this so resonates with me! I’ve been going through the same thing. I love the photos that you shared and those captions! Kirstin is right!

  6. Cathy,

    I love that you are returning to Flickr (where we met!) and returning to shooting just for you. The photo that stopped me in my tracks is “worry”. It is spectacularly beautiful, and a bit heartbreaking too. Your photographs are always so full of emotion and tenderness.

    xoxo Deb

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