I think this is an important topic, particularly with the ideas brought up in my Imposter Syndrome post. For me this shows a lot with my photography. Why should I take pictures? It’s not like they’re useful currently in my life. I love photography, but I’m not making money from it. Every once in a while, I start to doubt why I take pictures. I hardly ever do anything with them, other than sharing them on social media. Eventually, I want to be a paid photographer, but I’m not there yet. I never enter them in photo contests, and I usually take way too many. When I get in this mindset, it’s hard to pick up my camera again, and it’s hard to want to take photos again. I feel like it’s not worth my time because I’m not making money off of it (even though I am, in a sense, furthering part of my career as a photographer). And it takes so much time to go through and edit my photos! (particularly with my computer not having enough processing power for Lightroom). Sometimes it even gets so bad that I want to declutter my camera (one of the downsides of my current minimalism mindset) – aka selling it and my tripod and the lenses that I own or give them to fellow photographers and just be sad because I no longer have my camera. However, I haven’t done this yet and I’ve been able to get myself out of this mindset.
Doing things because you love them!
This is the new ‘motto’ that I remind myself of when I get into this mindset. I love taking pictures! And most of the time, I love editing my pictures. Sorting through 30+ pictures that are exactly the same and taken a millisecond apart isn’t as fun, but I’m working on my shutter finger issues. Not many people have seen me when I’m in my element taking photos. Usually, this is out in nature, running around with mud on my jeans and on my dad’s camera bag (that he generously lets me use) with a sweatshirt on, finding a waterfall to take pictures of, bracing myself against a tree because I didn’t haul my tripod on the several mile hike to get to the falls. During this time, I am nearly always smiling, even though it’s wet and muddy and usually pretty cold. There was a time last year where I was out around campus taking photos with one of my friends (who was a pretty reluctant model – but it comes with being my friend) and I was running around from tree to tree taking photos and jumping off the sidewalk into the road and taking photos. It was also raining, and I got soaked. But I was happy. She said she had never seen me that exuberant before. Now I occasionally shoot for the school newspaper, a job I got in November, and I am taking more photos at sporting events and widening my scope of photography skills. Whenever I go out to shoot a sporting event, it’s usually later in the evening, after I would have liked to be in bed. I grumble about this a little at first, but once I get set up, the time flies by and I love the challenge of shooting something that I haven’t shot much before.
Anyway. That was a long story. But long story short, doing things because you love them is not a waste of time or money. As humans, we require certain mental needs to be met, aside from the physical needs of food, shelter, etc. So I am going to keep taking pictures, even though I don’t do much with them. I may decide to do more with them in the future, or I may not. The point is that I love taking pictures and I will keep doing it.
Also, head over to my photography page to take a look at some of my recent and older photography.