I know every artist and freelancer will experience a season of just being tired, unmotivated and uninspired, and I think this year so far has been that season for me. For many months I've accepted gigs just to accept them. I've shot events for the sake of getting it over with. I've procrastinated on projects and am still backed up with some work. I've been inconsistent and careless. I've lost my drive, and I'm not quite sure why or how. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I haven't been creating (among other things that have been happening in recent months). This year, I was simply a person shooting photos with a camera, but I wasn't an artist. I captured all the same angles and cliches and staged smiles, but I didn't let my own eye seek for more. I haven't looked outside the box in a very long time. Photography has become a money-source rather than my expression.
But I want to go back to the creative and individual process that made me fall in love with photography long ago. I want to be an artist again. I want to work on projects that stir up my vision and feed my passion and artistic expression. I want to photograph more in photographing less. I want to search for what inspires me rather than what finances me.
I think I'm in need of a recharge. I've decided that from here on until the end of the year, I won't accept gigs if I know I'm only doing it for the money and no other reason. I photograph other people's lives for money so often that I haven't even documented my own life and haven't shot things for my pleasure, and it's drained every drop of creativity I had -- so I want more of what I shoot for the rest of the year to be for myself personally. I'm going to think of creative projects and try my hand at it. I'm going to tighten my skills in post-production. I'm going to connect with other artists who want to create, both in San Diego and in Portland. I'm going to internally invest in my art again.
I used to accept every single gig that was offered to me for the sole purpose of gaining experience, which is great and I'm thankful to have gotten the experience that I have. But I've reached a place where I need to be more selective and thoughtful with what I take on. I don't want to be known as a photographer who does everything with mediocrity, but I want to filter down what I do so I can perfect what I want to do.
It'll be a new season for me as a photographer but I'm excited to see a spark happen once again.