At the end of last year I put together a compilation of highlights from 2014. It had been a very productive and progressive year, and I was happy enough with that.
I’d published my first book, photographed lots of portraits for people in business, run live camera workshops and produced creative and practical courses for people learning photography.
There were lurking discomforts in the back of my mind, but I had done a good job of pushing those down and carrying on.
I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I was an excellent thrasher-of-whip.
Come on Beth.
This year, as you may have read, I took some time out to address what those concerns were.
Being in a creative world, I believed just do the best you can with what you’ve got. Make it work. Make some money. Don’t even think about whether you love it or not. Just push on. It’s still better than a desk job in a cubicle somewhere.
So… what? Do photography, but near enough is good enough? Um….that’s not sustainable, as it turns out.
And then I tentatively ventured back into my true craft, with this project as my first experiment.
I tried to ignore the fact that a lot was riding on it. If it turned out less that satisfying as a creative piece of work, if it looked great but had no potential place in the market, then I felt like it could all be over.
Turns out it was not a case of throw the baby out with the bath water.
The baby (my creativity and energy for telling real-life stories in photos) was genuine, intact and thank goodness, quietly sitting there waiting.
I realised how much I loved the craft of expressing ideas through photos and that I had lost my way down the commercial path.
I’d listened to too many people with good intentions who were not invested in helping me live my soul’s purpose.
Lately I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about myself. I have to steal myself from feeling guilty about being too self-indulgent here in my public writing. Too much ‘I’ and not enough of ‘you’.
But you know, it’s a case of fit your own oxygen mask first before attending to children in the unlikely event of an airplane disaster. I’ve had to be indulgent for a while, and actually, there’s no apology to give for that.
No oxygen for me, no photos for you.
So now as 2015 comes to a close, I am feeling much more conscious and aware.
I move slower. I listen more. I ask the right questions. I journal at night. I wait for the answers. I trust the process. I know my craft. I’m fascinated by a great story. I love photography.
The muddied water has been drained away. Now the baby floats in something pure, clean and free-flowing.
I continually check in to make sure the water is circulating well, that it’s the right temperature, and if it needs topping up.
And I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m so ready and excited to create work that I’m proud of with people who challenge me to dig deep.
I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
Have a beautiful, restful Christmas break and holiday filled with calm and fun.