The other day I was asked what kind of photos I enjoy taking. It was an interesting question for me, because I hadn’t really thought about it much.
I could point you at my Instagram photos and you could probably make a guess at what I enjoy most, but you’d probably come to the wrong conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy abstract imagery, catching shadows and light playing off each other, black and white architecture etc.
If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it, eh?
And a few years back you could easily spot my style of harsh contrast, black and white, with a heavy dose of Photoshop manipulation and the addition of blur and motion to create a confused and dark mental image. But that’s exactly what it was, a representation of my mental state at the time, a manifestation of how a depressed and confused mind saw the world.
At that time I would become fixated on certain themes, simply noticing the mundane and turning it into my own interpretation of art; street signs, notices, ordering the unconscious mind; the number 2 showing it’s beauty whether alone or in a group (what’s the collective name for a bunch of two’s, I wonder?); the branches of trees, weaving their fingers into an increasingly dark sky.
It’s all there, my psyche exposed.
Don’t get me wrong, a collection of vapour-trails is cool, but it’s not what I enjoy most.
Those are the photos I enjoy the most. Whether it’s candid shots, street photography, studio or location modelling, or formal portraits, it’s those kind of photos I enjoy the most. Finding meaning in a silent face, expressing inner emotion disguised by light and shadow, it’s those types of photos I really enjoy.
So why am I not doing more of it? Why not, indeed.
For the past year or so, I’ve suffered from social anxiety, and it’s been really difficult to socialise and be around people. That’s what comes from being locked in a room and shouted at, at a time when my mental state was already delicate from suicidal thoughts. Yeah, not good.
But I’m coming out. I’m starting to feel good again. I’m beginning to feel more at ease around people. Things are slowly improving.
So it’s time to start taking photos of people again. More models, more portraits, more street photography where I’m no longer hiding away from faces. It’s time to enjoy the photos I really enjoy taking. It’s time for me to actually do what makes me truly happy.
After all, this life is short enough, so why shouldn’t we spend more time doing the things we love?
p.s if you’re reading this, and you’re a live human being, then I guess I should be taking by your photo. So get in touch, and together we’ll discover your beauty that’s hiding in plain sight …