Why haven’t I blogged for a while?
Two reasons. Life. Life got super busy. Too many weddings, selling houses, buying houses, moving houses, moving studios, and just busy spending time with family. Ive been flat out just doing the day to day stuff, and focussing on my family life when I’m not actually on the tools doing paid photography work, this was complicated further with a spate of injuries and illness that have resulted in me spending a lot of time going to and from doctors and specialists. I’m not completely past that yet, but getting there.
Secondly, a loss of self belief and a loss of passion. I had become isolated from positive photography influences in my life. Its a small community in my state, and I was struggling with keeping perspective in a small room full of big egos. For the most part, everyone I had around me was cool, but there were influences that would on one hand appear to be supporters, but then on the other, would be pretty quick to assert themselves and their greater knowledge, skill, popularity and ability over me. I stopped putting myself out there because every time I would do something I was proud of, or have something positive happen in my photography life, they would jump in and one up me. So I isolated myself from those influences, focussed on my own mental health until I felt safe to start exploring photography outside of my actual work again. There have been a few key players there that have given me much appreciated support, photographers that I admire and feel lucky to call my friends. More on those positive influences another time.
The result? All work and no play made Ed a dull boy. I didn’t feel like I had anything to say, and I stopped doing personal work. I had a really busy couple of wedding seasons, too busy in fact, I burnt out completely and totally lost my passion for photography. I hated this, and so now I’ve capped wedding bookings so that this doesn’t happen again. I need to enjoy what I do, and when you shoot too many weddings, a couple of things happen. Firstly, 2-3 weddings per week is exhausting… This can mean 3 days on the tools for 12+ hours, and 2-3 days just driving to and from weddings. The killer week for me saw 2 elopements early in the week, a thursday driving to Hobart (5 hr drive), Friday shooting for about 14 hrs, driving half the night to get closer to the next wedding… check into the hotel at 2am, sleep until 7, check out, drive another 1 1/2 hrs to the next wedding and shoot another 12+ hrs. Home just after midnight then Sunday uploading and backing up, getting set for another midweek elopement and wedding again the next weekend as normal… And I had several weeks like this. With editing, client meetings etc, I saw nothing of my family for pretty much the entire summer. This made me resent the work. And then theres the honest and harsh reality… with that many clients, there are always going to be a couple of bridezillas.. I rarely get these, but one difficult client has a huge impact on your confidence. You can have 10 happy clients loving everything you have done, and then there the one that just decides that contacting you on your personal number at 11pm on the Sunday after their wedding asking why the photos aren’t ready yet (even though they know I specify much longer), and every night after until delivery. That one takes it out of you. Negativity is much more powerful than positivity when it comes to an artists confidence.
Anyway, enough whining. What has changed?
Firstly I have been fortunate enough to replace the negative influences on my photographic life with positive ones (post to come about my peers and influences). Then, in turn, these people have inspired me to be creative, both with my wedding work and in general. Secondly, I made the tough decision to limit my bookings. There is a financial impact to this, but thanks to an amazingly supportive wife, we are making this work.
These have combined to give me the time and space to be creative and start shooting for myself again. While I don’t have any actual projects in the works right now, I am again open to one, when the right one comes along. For now, I am just taking a camera with me everywhere, recording our family life. I’m that uncle that has a camera at every family gathering. A big part of being able to do this comfortably was choosing the right tool. Along with the loss of passion and confidence, another thing that got in the way of me doing this was my total switch from Fuji Mirrorless to Nikon DSLR. I went from having an x100s that fit in my pocket and everyone ignored because it didn’t look like a big serious camera, to having to lug a pro size body and lens. Everytime I puled it out, it had an impact on the scene. People just behaved differently. So, I have dipped my toes back into mirrorless waters with an Olympus Pen F… but more on that later.
Where to from here? Well, along with starting teaching and mentoring other photographers again, I will resurrect this blog, and fill it with stuff that may or may not be of interest to other photographers, full time pro’s or weekend hobbyists alike. I will post a bit about gear, not serious reviews, just my thoughts on the stuff I use. I will put in some BTS of my wedding and studio work, a glimpse into what I do and how I do it. There will be some photographic navel gazing, the things that motivate me, the photographers that influence me, the peers that have stood beside me and helped push me further. I will talk about workshops, my own and this that I have attended. I will discuss podcasts I listen to and books I read… Basically its going to be me waffling on about all things photographic and how they fit in my world.
Feel free to tag along, but also, I won’t be offended if you don’t.
Until next time!