Regaining Your Spark

Photography has slowly become my way of looking at the world. It’s the chain that keeps me tethered to the world around me and my way of putting things into some semblance of an order.

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It’s no accident that the word melancholy in my ‘name’. It’s a part of me that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. It’s something that has permeated through all aspects of my life and for a long time I thought maybe photography was the one exception to the rule. Sure, I had some off days but I never ever felt like I wanted to throw it all away. It kept me grounded, and kept me from feeling listless and lost.

I wonder if maybe I am having that tether ripped away from me, or whether I am subconsciously doing it to myself. That as I am feeling so disengaged from the people and the world around me, that maybe I am losing my ability to document and capture that engagement.

For whatever reason, I am finding it harder to just shoot. When I was doing the 365 Project, I had something that was constantly driving me and pushing me forward. I had to take a photo every day. But beyond even those restraints, I wanted to shoot that much. Now I don’t know what I want, or what I’m feeling.

Yes, I know that I should shoot through whatever this is. I shouldn’t wait for inspiration to come, I should proactively hunt it down.

Yes, some of an artist’s best and bravest work will come out of pain, or sadness, or loneliness. You can’t have light without darkness and what is photography if it isn’t light?

Yes, in all likelihood – hopefully – this feeling will pass. If it is true to the ebbs and flows I’ve experienced up until now, I will claw my way out of it.

And yes, my pain is nothing in comparison to what others are feeling and dealing with right now. I have heard this over and over again.

And no, I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s just what do you do when you lose your spark? How do you regain something that is seemingly so personal and can’t really be taught or learned?

 

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3 comments

  1. Honey, I don’t think your spark has gone, or that you’ve lost it! It might be hidden just now, but you’ll come through. I have a lot of faith in you and your wonderful talent! 😀

  2. hey there, sorry to hear it’s a tough time. Perhaps a small project is just what you need. My idea is this, the little project. Force yourself to take two photos in the next couple of days. Photo number 1, a photo of something represents your current feeling… confusion, sadness, struggle etc whatever it is. But make it a photo that resonates with you. Photo 2, a shot of something that represents what having the spark looks like to you. It doesn’t have to be your best ever shot but again it has to resonate with you. Then, actually print photo 2 and put it somewhere where you will see it everyday. Let that positive image be in your vision so when the doubts arise you can reset to the positive, this is where I’m headed, I’ve got my spark. I’m not saying it will solve all your problems but a reminder of the good and a positive direction never hurt.
    Cheers
    Tony
    Ps. I know we barely know each other but I think your work is awesome and the ceremony photos you took for Michelle and me are fantastic and a source of joy for me. Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us! I know it can be rough sometimes, but you are an incredible photographer, and you know that. It’s okay to feel lost sometimes, it’s when you are on the edge of something new, new experiences, new ways of looking at things, new ways of thinking or maybe new ways to photograph. When we are lost it means we have done enough and are able and ready to move forward. I don’t know where that is for you, all I know is that photography is your life and you should cherish it.

    I know you’ve had ups and downs, but I feel like this is different. Those posts where about whether or not throwing it away this is not. This is about you finding new ways to use your talent and learn more skills.
    Just relax, take a breath and yes you can lay your camera down for a minute. It’s okay you’re inspiration is lost, but you can also take photo’s without inspiration, but only if you want to. If you don’t want to take pictures, that is okay, be at ease with that. If it becomes a “I have/ need to take photo’s” than it will become a hassle and you start losing your will to take photo’s, you will loose your drive and you will not like taking pictures anymore. My advice is to watch out for that, cause you love this and this is what you excel in.

    Tony’s suggestions sounds very good too :)

    Thanks again for sharing and if you’re going to Vegas next year, I’ll be there too :D

    Have a lovely, inspiring, relaxing week!

    xoxoox

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