The Joy of Photography?

In Life Is Short, Pep Talks, The Craft, The Life Creative, Thoughts & Theory by David54 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I confessed to you that I hadn’t picked up my camera for six months. The replies I received by email and comments on the blog were like a big collective sigh of relief from so many of you—like we were all holding our breath, thinking we were the only ones who had lost some of our previous motivation.

It made me wonder where we all got this sense of obligation to our cameras. Or perhaps it’s the feeling that to be a “real” photographer or artist, we need to feel the passion for this craft 24/7.

I think highly of discipline, and I’ve always risen to challenges well, which is the direction in which I was hoping to nudge you in the last email. But listen, we all do this for different reasons and it might be that what some of us need right now, in these unusual times, is to rekindle the joy and the magic we once found with the camera in hand, and I’ve never found that happens easily when we’re also trying to dodge feelings of shame or obligation or to work when it’s time to rest.

If you haven’t picked up the camera in a while, you aren’t the only one.

And you’re definitely not the only one who might be wondering what’s wrong with you, and what this temporary lack of discipline says about you.

The answer is nothing. Nothing is wrong with you.

And while some of us might need a challenge right now to shake off some of the dust, it could also be that what you need most of all is a reminder of the joy you find in this craft, a reminder that finding that joy doesn’t always mean creating a photograph, and the permission to find that joy again.
I used to lie on my belly in grass wet with dew just to see the brilliant little worlds created when the light hit the drops of water.

I used to be so broke that I’d go out with my Pentax Spotmatic and photograph for hours without a roll of film in it, just to see what the world looked like through the lens, and to feel the camera, still new to me then, in my hands.

Honestly, I used to read through the magazines and go straight from one ad to the next, imagining what it must be like to use gear different from mine. And yes, in this case, it was better gear and I’d wonder what it must be like to be the kind of photographer who used that kind of gear. Sure, vision is better, but gear is still good—and there used to be such magic in it.

I used to find such joy in the few books of photography I owned. Several of them were written by Freeman Patterson, a man I credit with so much of who I have become. On the days I can’t photograph, I still find great joy in sitting with a book of images and enjoying the experience. My imagination, it turns out, was well-trained by my camera, but doesn’t need it to play.

And I still do. All of this. On the days when I forget to take myself seriously, the way a “real” photographer should. When I’m just playful and allow myself to pick up my cameras just to hold them, or open one of my books of my own photographs just to relive the memories and tell myself the stories again, without any need to be critical or overthink things. I go back to the resources from which I learned my craft and recall lessons learned the hard way and marvel at both how far I’ve come and how far I’ve yet to go.

Your creative life, like mine, has a rhythm to it. It has ups and downs.

There’s time for discipline and challenge and a time for play and wonder. The best days are when they coincide, though it can’t be all magic all the time for most of us. And that’s when the dry times happen, and it’s the reason I’m sending this letter to you instead of something that’s much more obviously practical.

Photography as a way of life is so much more than just making photographs. It’s learning, and imagining, and sparking the imagination. I can’t go to Kenya right now, but I can spend the morning looking at my favourite photographs and recalling the memories and feeling something like the secondhand joy that comes echoing off those memories. You might not currently have any desire to make photographs of your own—it just might not feel like the time—but you can still feel the magic by looking at photographs. You can still be present and observant and savour life, as Marc Riboud said, one-hundredth of a second at a time.

Your passion for this craft doesn’t have to be a roaring bonfire all the time.

There will be days when there’s not even a flicker of visible flame. That doesn’t mean the fire has gone out. It doesn’t mean there’s anything at all wrong with you. The embers can still be white-hot under those ashes, and they’ll be there the moment you decide it’s time to throw some fuel on the fire. Until then, remember the joy that this craft brought (and still brings) you when unencumbered by all the seriousness, the desire for mastery, and the necessary effort of doing the work.

It’s OK to put the camera down; just don’t let go of the joy.

For the Love of the Photograph,


  1. Oh, thank goodness for this. I have put my camera down and I have been feeling so bad, so guilty and sad about it. I have not taken any pictures for some time and have just been reading how-to’s on image editing (a little) and graphic design (a lot). Then last week, I felt like taking pictures again. But the guilt and self-criticism have been hanging over me. After finding and reading your blog post today, I just felt so relieved. Thank you David for sharing.

    1. I decided to read all of “Within the Frame” without picking up a camera.
      It was a great decision, and I feel like I got much more out of the (wonderful) book than if I had been distracted by hardware or putting expectations on myself.

  2. This was enough of an inspiration for me to go out and photograph today, even though it was bitter cold and I really didn’t want to. But so glad that I did because I have not felt like it in months. Maybe this is the beginning of feeling good about my photography again, and getting over the winter blues. Thanks

  3. David – COVID has drained the life and my passion out of me to do street and documentary photography – something I’ve done professionally since 1987. I realized that it wasn’t me that didn’t want to photograph any longer in general – it was the subject matter that faded away. I have kept putting the one area I’ve wanted to shoot on proverbial hold for several years – shooting large marine life underwater while freediving. The ocean and it’s inhabitants could care less about COVID and that was a paradigm shift for me. After seeing all the irrational reactions for the past several months, I realized I’m not willing to participate in the cookie cutter dumptruck mentality of bad to mediocre images of people wearing masks. If anything, this pandemic has shown me that nature – and specifically mother ocean – heals what ails me – the constant anxiety of everyone else looking at me or anyone else with fear and suspicion of being “infected”…

    The challenge is travel and what that looks like right now – fortunately, some destinations are more open than others… So it’s a matter now of training and planning.

  4. I shuttered my photography business in early March of this year and have turned down portrait jobs because I don’t want to interact with people during this pandemic. I have a background in theatre and my best work is to take a director’s approach, finding the person within the person, watching them improvise and challenge themselves, challenging myself right alongside.

    None of this works in a pandemic situation. I am also fearful of my car breaking down, or having to use a restroom, of a thousand other tiny little things that suddenly have become so critical to survival.

    Until last week, I hadn’t been out of the house except to take out trash at night–for six months. My lone project was submitting to ShotKit and I was featured there a few months ago.

    This time has been interesting, frustrating and rewarding all at once . My path as a photographer weaves, or wove, through three avenues. First, I was a fine art landscape photographer. I then worked at a magazine and newspaper as an events photographer, ultimately winding up shooting editorial and also news. At the same time, I started doing theatre/dance photography, and then headshots/portraits. In reviewing this history, I acknowledged how much work had been eroded in the past couple of years–essentially 2/3 of my income was gone. I took a good hard look at that. I had been hanging on with two remaining clients and some headshots on the side. There were new photographers popping up every day, draining the pool and in major cases being able to pull my clients away permanently. I live in a small town and I had been very visible although certainly not finding financial success.

    So I took a look at that and decided to close up shop. I mean that metaphorically–I’d used a newspaper studio prior to losing my newspaper job. I didn’t want to go out and it made sense to close things down. I had four inquiries in five months and I sent them to another photographer who didn’t mind risking his health for a couple hundred dollars.

    I started revisiting old landscape pictures and reprocessing them, ultimately doing a whole black-and-white series of what I used to consider “tourist” photos–and people have responded with enthusiasm. I don’t mean responded with sales–I have always over-posted on Facebook and in doing so I think devalued my work by commingling it with my personal page. But, nevertheless, it made me see that my “artier” attempts at photography were not what the general public likes–they like recognizable things and they like recognizable “moods.” My darker images were labeled “spooky,” which is not what I was intending.

    After putting many thousands of miles on my cameras shooting dance and theatre, I realized that unless I were in a more lucrative market, these jobs were simply costing me wear and tear, and ultimately needing to replace, expensive gear. I used to volunteer quite a bit in the arts–costing me even more as I swung from unpaid volunteer job to unpaid volunteer job.

    Ultimately, I realized that if I wanted to work as a photographer again, I would need to move, and that is something in the works long-term. And that is okay to just take your gear out and shoot from the safety of your car, just to remember what dial does what. Or to spend hours reading about photographers you like, or painters, or to analyze the lighting in people’s images. It is all part of learning and growing.

    And I took up drawing and I am truly terrible at it :–).

  5. I still carry my camera with me, where ever I go, the store, the dump, everywhere, all I have to do is see something interesting and I’m back in the game. I don’t force it, but I certainly give it a chance too manifest. It can be right outside my door, or somewhere down the road, but this wonderful, miracles planet of ours is magic almost everywhere we haven’t defiled it, so ya’ never know, that’s why I carry the camera with me…

  6. David, thank you so much for this post. I’ve been feeling so guilty about not using this time to shoot more etc. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has been going thru these feelings this year! Instead I’ve been doing more reading, (including your “Start Ugly” book- it’s fantastic thank you!!) even just sorting through old photos and trying new edits that sort of thing to keep the creative juices flowing. As always thank you for sharing your story, it’s always helpful and inspiring! Hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy!

    1. I have been your silent student ever since I took my first Photography class in earnest. Finally I wanted to speak up and tell you thank you. Most of my photography is done in my own back yard where I grow my flowers and photograph them and arrange them into still lifes and create paintings from the photographs. (I’m in charge of my parents these days who are 90 and 88.) After a while, you run out of imagination (and energy). That’s why when you suggested extension tubes in your last letter I took the challenge. I watched some amazing UTube videos. I found some amazing photographers there and have been playing with my flowers again. It’s so fun to have the challenge to learn macro, or micro. Thank you for all the many things I have learned from you and the encouragement to keep working. Jeri

  7. Your thoughtful words remind me of advice I received from a coach I worked with for years. He said that I should look at my life as if in chapters. He was talking professionally, but I think it applies to many aspects of life. He was pointing out that what is right for me now may not be right for me in five years. Similarly, something that was right for me five years ago might not be right for me in the present. Our circumstances change, along with our needs, desires, preferences, etc. If I think of these things as different chapters, it means that I can forgive myself for not wanting to do something with the passion that I had before. It also allows me freedom in knowing that if something I was passionate about last year isn’t compelling to me today, that doesn’t mean I won’t find passion for it again in the next chapter, whether that chapter starts tomorrow, next month, or in a couple of years. Reading your article today brought this advice back to me, which is always helpful, but even more so in the midst of the pandemic. I appreciate the reminder that the things I’m missing or perhaps not interested in now may be opportunities and cause for renewed excitement in the future. Thank you for all you do!

  8. I’ve been beating myself up for not feeling like photographing any more. I keep up with a weekly challenge group, but I have to make myself do it. The photography I love to do isn’t possible yet, and though at the start of our lockdown I had plans to do other projects, macro, icm, make books, etc and all that malarky, I just can’t get enthused and get cross with myself for not being as creative as I feel I should be. I”ve sorted out my photo website, been reading photography books and following a couple of great photographers on Youtube, (Sean Tucker & Will Verbeek) cleaned all my lenses and equipment, but still no spark ignited as yet. I believe it will come back, at least I hpe so. Thanks for this post, it made me realise how I’ve been feeling, maybe putting it into words will help!

  9. Yep, it happens. You lose the joy or the joy takes a hiatus. This pandemic and the self-imposed isolation is kicking my butt. When the closest neighborhood is about 10 miles away and the nearest curbside grocery pickup is 15 miles away, it gives isolation a whole new meaning. But just recently I grabbed the camera and headed out to a new remote location excited by what I might find. I took way too many photos; still couldn’t wait to get them uploaded. And upload them I did and sat in speechless wonder at the load of rubbish that I was clicking through frame by frame. My first thought? Something must have happened to my camera! And with that illogical thought, I started laughing and laughing. My first foray out in months with my camera was a load of crap. And it made me laugh at myself, at the situation, and yes, a little bit at life. It other words: I found the joy in photography again. Just coming at it from the wrong direction. Thanks, David, for all you do to give us hope in so many ways.

  10. Another insightful post, thanks as always. I cannot say I have not picked up a camera in six months but its been over a year since I did so with the intent of making an image for publication. Lots of things have intervened, life got in the road as they say. A move to a new state, new house, new daughter-in-law, global pandemic.

    I’d started on that old fall back, browsing ebay, KEH and B&H for gear that looks interesting. How lame is that when you would rather browse for gear than actually use it? But as I’ve finally gotten things unpacked in the new house and sorted my ‘stuff’ into some semblance of new order I find my love of this craft returning. Now that the computer is back up and running I just spent the weekend updating software, checking the website and sorting through images I had taken but never cataloged properly.

    I did succumb to the ebay siren though and bought a full spectrum converted Pentax K-01. I’m looking forward to a new challenge with this camera and to getting out and making images again.

  11. This article David is timely for me. I’m in a dry spell at the moment and it is not the first time so I wait patiently for that spark to reignite my passion.

  12. Most of my photography has been in the studio over the past ten plus years. In addition to that some travel to places like Death Valley. With the pandemic, none of this is currently happening in my world. Just prior to the pandemic I had made a decision that I was tiring of the studio work and wanted to explore and photograph different things. Add all of this up and I’ve made very few photographs over the past six months. I’m doing everything possible to remain engaged in the world of photography. Attending on line events, re-evaluating some of my older work and in some cases re-editing it. I’m reading and re-reading photography books. Yes, a few of yours :-). My thoughts are all over the place as I’m feeling that obligation very strongly. I have to thank you for this post as the timing is perfect and it’s right on point as usual.

  13. Your post rhymes so well with a post that came out last week from another photographic website. Darlene Hildebrandt (Digital Photo Mentor) was interviewing a young lady who is creating some amazing images after just one year with a camera. The young lady who Darlene interviewed, Loudia Laarman, was saying much the same thing about being perfectly happy to step away from the camera , actually needing to in order to refresh. It is well worth taking a half hour to watch this interview – it is full of enthusiasm and intelligence:

  14. I have gotten my first digital camera back in May, an entire kit.. Was trying to get in the concert photography scene, until the virus got worse and my buddy that’s in the entertainment industry contacted me and said we can’t do anything now because of the travel bans.. So that route was squished, and I replaced it with cemetery /landscape/wildlife photography. Basically taking pics of my neighborhood, instead. #pivot. I have since hit some rough spots in my life, despite my pics being very good, and my camera and kit just sat on my bookshelf, and sat, and sat, and sat some more… I can’t remember the last time I took a picture that wasn’t from my phone… Until this morning.. I had joined a photography meet-up on the meetup app. It felt so perfect and organic, and taking pics of somewhere I only been to once, was like a breathe of fresh air.. Especially when it was to apart of it that I haven’t been. I felt like I could take pics all day😊. Even though it was supposed to be 86° F today, and I was feeling every frickin bit of it😁. But, I was happy for the change of scenery and the chance to explore through my lens..

  15. I enjoy hearing your prospective. In my case COVID gave me an inspiration to get out close to home and attempt to make a meaning photograph on a daily basis. I’ve discovered subjects I would have past by in the past. I’ve use this as a distraction to move beyond the challenges of our given situation.

  16. Yes!!! A few months ago I came rocketing back out of a 12-month photography inspiration void…didn’t want to read about it, do it, think about it etc etc….although sometimes still got the urge to “mess around” with my iPhone because that’s FUN. I spent a lot of time wondering what was WRONG with me….and whether I had lost IT forever….whatever IT is LOL!! Then all of a sudden it was like a switch clicked in my head and I’m back into it again….this time INSPIRED to expand my love of landscape into bird, bug, flower and whatever photography to create even more immersive sharings of what I FEEL when out in the wild…..And somehow, after a year of NOT doing anything, my photography is better than before 😀

  17. That the creative life has rhythms is absolutely true. And I deal with that in two ways. One way is to pick up my camera, walk in the woods or down a city street and just look. Observe. Watch what happens. Because very often, when one is attentive to the ordinary, something extraordinary will happen. Just be ready.
    The second way is to leave the camera in the bag (though mine is perpetually in the back seat of my car) and cut the lawn, or clean out a closet. Sit in the sun, or listen to music. Redirect my mind and be open. Pick the camera up tomorrow.
    Of course, one think I like to do is visit a museum or a gallery and study art. If you want to better understand composition, go to an art museum and absorb that. The masters will rub a little off on you.
    I don’t like to go too long though without clicking the shutter. Your six months would be too long for me. I have had writer friends tell me that if they sat around waiting for inspiration, they’d seldom write a word. Often you have to prod the muse to get her to whisper in your ear.
    So even if I don’t come home from a day shooting with a half dozen keepers, I still have learned something. I’ve learned the limits of a new prime lens, or what the light looks like on Main St. at 4 pm. I’ve learned just a little bit better how to see.

  18. Thank you for this David. It’s been well over 6 months since I handled my DSLRs (other than to transfer them from one bag to another.) I find myself creating images with my phone, going through the motions of editing in Instagram or another program, only to say, “Nah.” For me it’s the difference between making/playing with images and sharing them. Right now I feel there is too much daily visual noise out there, and I’m happy keeping my image making to myself for a while while I work on some larger projects.

  19. David, you hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head. I came to photography late in life. I got my first SLR in 1983 when my son was born. It was such fun learning how to use the camera while chasing a little kid around. Now I have a grandson and the wonder and memories have returned. Maybe there is something to this slowing down a bit

  20. I have an odd positive from the lockdown. Wanting some new photos for our re-decorated bathroom I started going through 20 years of my digital photos. I’ve not chosen any yet; the search has found a lot of mediocre photographs but has turned into enjoying some wonderful memories.

  21. This has indeed been a challenging time. While I am disappointed that travel is limited, I have enjoyed returning to your Master Class and other ebooks & articles of you have written, enjoyed taking time to work with images I have already taken, as well as, unrelated activities like taking walks without my camera, coloring, reading, and listening to music. The unrelated activities are like when at a wine tasting you cleanse your palate between wines. I like giving my photographic vision and mind a break. I admit I can be hard on myself and think I have to create a masterpiece (which is rare, of course) but lately I have enjoyed just taking a photo walk in the city & neighborhood where I live and just enjoy photographing whatever catches my eye for the sole purpose of justing having fun! It renews and recharges me for which I am grateful.

    1. Author

      I love that analogy, Lyn – the cleansing of the palate is a perfect way to look at it. I’m honoured that part of that for you includes my books and courses – thank you for that! I’m honoured. When all this started I was burning out on travel. Who knew we had all taken it so much for granted. I can’t wait to get back to Kenya as soon as we’re able.

    1. Author

      Not alone at all, and dry as the desert is, it can be a place of tremendous life and growth. Right there with ya!

  22. David, your comments are deeply appreciated. Your last post did serve to galvanize me into thinking differently and trying something new. Prior to this, I had not seriously picked up my camera for quite some time. I didn’t feel guilty about it, but I felt like something was missing. Part of it was because I was “just not feeling it”. But I read your post about Challenges and it resonated with me. I am just a very amateur landscape photographer, and I had never spent much time doing black and white photography or still life. And I realized that perhaps if I tried focusing on this for a while it might help me understand light and texture better. So, I took up the challenge. In fact, I posted a link to your Challenges blog on one of my “blips” on ( This is my “accountability group” when it comes to photography. I try to zero in on something new each day – contrast, backlight, ambient light, sidelight, capturing texture, and so much more. I am slowly building a body of work of what I call “Common Items”, and with each photograph I am learning something new. So, David, you are having a positive effect on us, and I thank you!

    1. Author

      Thanks so much for that! There are many paths up the mountain, but challenge has been the one the most often works best for me! Keep at it!

  23. Although unable to travel, l have spent a lot of my sequestered time taking macro images of
    flowers (at home) and just marvelling at their glorious intricate structures. I have also experimented with macro shots of flowers (and weeds) under ultraviolet light which often reveals fascinating fluorescent images.
    There is always something new to explore photographically if you are curious and maintain your creative curiosity.

    1. Author

      That’s it, isn’t it, Jonathan – curiosity! If we stay curious it’s a kind of hunger and it keeps pushing us to new places and to new challenges. Thanks for chiming in!

  24. Thank you for this beautiful reflection on a personal process, I really think this mindful approach is bot only healthiest but can also lead to a lot of discoveries. I really enjoy these blog posts, their wisdom and advice and be applied not only in photography but in life in general.

    With gratitude,


    1. Author

      Thanks so much for that, Anya. The honour is mine – thank you for reading what I write. It means the world to me that it makes a difference.

  25. Wow! I thought it was just me . Thanks so much for saying this. Between watching my 93 yr old mother go horribly downhill since last November, her death in May, and all this pandemic, i have had no thought of picking up my camera. Worked on some new texture techniques for photos with bad or distracting backgrounds. But that’s all. Now in New England and hope to do a little hiking with my camera. Just glad to not feel alone in this . Thanks David!

    1. Author

      Sounds like a hard and dark road, Sherry. Wishing you courage and renewed strength and joy. Hiking almost anywhere sounds like a good way to get some of the joy back. You’re not alone!

  26. In response to your last post I replied that I have been spending my pandemic time reprocessing and in particular processing in black and white to help energize my vision and soul in a medium I have not paid enough attention to in the past. What I like in an odd sort of way is that this pandemic has lessened the pressure since we all know this won’t be solved anytime soon so I feel i can relax and take my time at my “hobby”.

    The other thing I’ve engaged in while not actively shooting is that’s it’s given me time to be thinking about projects and things I would like to create. Day dreaming in my mind. So as I am part of a great travel group of photographers that have been grounded due to the pandemic I have tried to apply my dreaming to them. In this weird interim we meet online every three weeks to both stay in touch and share images. I have found that that timeframe motivates me to create a project from past work, reprocess or just tinker in ways that normally I don’t. My advice to others is find a way to just have fun. Playing outside your comfort zone or doing odd adventures will lead to success or failure. As I tell me kids you learn more from failure than success so don’t be afraid to fail, just do something since inspiration comes from the oddest directions.

    Stay safe.

    1. Author

      Sounds like you’re making the most of this time, Charlie! I love your positive attitude, especially toward failure, which I’ve always believed is our greatest and most faithful teacher if we’re got a mind open to the lessons. Be well!

  27. Your essay came at the right time. I was a little down on myself being self quarantined for such a long time ( Yes, I am negative) and in one of those self-reflecting moods. Like yourself, I have not touched my cameras in many months. Sure, I take them out once in a while and play with the dials and look through the viewfinder of my study for the millionth time. I think we all do that. My wife said we had to get out of the house for a little while and just take a ride. We were driving through an area I have traveled probably again another millionth time but my eye caught the glimpse of some really great graffiti on the side of a building. Yes, I stopped the car, got out, and had to take a few iPhone pictures as I did not have my camera with me. Nothing really special. Just the flame was never out.

    1. Author

      I think knowing the flame is never out and knowing how to fan it back to flame (and knowing we can do that when we need to) allows us to feel less pressure, even to accept the times of self-reflection and lack of productivity. I think we’ll all look back at this pandemic as hard but valuable. Keep that iPhone handy, Gerard! 🙂

  28. Thanks for your recent post. I feel your pain David,I am in the boat with you. I am a beginner at this craft. I have lost interest in the craft for 3+ months. The fire has subsided but there is still the ever present embers sizzling. To coin a phrase “There may still be Snow on the roof, but the fire is still burning inside. Thanks again for all your knowledge and wisdom that you so graciously share with all us. Be safe and healthy, David.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Jimmie! Sometimes I think all we really need to know is we’re not the only one.

  29. Thanks for your recent post. I feel your pain David,I am in the boat with you. I am a beginner at this craft. I have lost interest in the craft for 3+ months. The fire has subsided but there is still the ever present embers sizzling. To coin a phrase “There may still be Snow on the roof, but the fire is still burning inside. Thanks again for all your knowledge and wisdom that you so graciously share with all us. Be safe and healthy, David.

  30. During this time of disconnect because of so many restrictions due to the pandemic, I spent much less time with my camera in hand and smile on my face. I felt guilty in not wanting to go out and capture beauty around me.
    I feel some relief that it wasn’t just me, to find others feeling the same. Yesterday was Monarch day and I started to feel the need to grab my Canon. I was afraid I lost my drive now I know it will come back slowly but soon my canon and I will be out together
    Thank you for your post.
    Take Care, Be Safe

  31. David, love your passion and sharing. I’ve spent most of the summer either deleting hundreds of old photographs or reprocessing others , using newer software and a newer perspective. It is surprising to see some of my past errors in photography and your advice is always beneficial.

    Be safe and keep that spark alive.

  32. You speak so well, David, to what many of us feel. A big YES to this: “Your passion for this craft doesn’t have to be a roaring bonfire all the time.” Yesyesyes. I wish we didn’t need reminders like this, but I’m grateful for people like you who are here to share messages like this, in the thoughtful way that you do.

    Also…I love (so much) that you used to go out with your Pentax, without film.

    1. Author

      LOL. Yeah, I was a bit of a nerd. I guess I still am. Now that Pentax mostly sits on the shelf, but I still love to pick it up and play, and remember the joy of being totally new at all this. Be well!

  33. “it could also be that what you need most of all is a reminder of the joy you find in this craft”

    I feel this, but maybe in a just slightly different way. Since I quit my ‘day job’ in 2018 and became a full time freelance photographer the ‘work’ became about making ends meet. Paying my student loan payments. Making rent. As a former classical musician who kind of burned out, I swore I would never let myself take photography down that same dreaded road. I swore it would be different—somehow always “fun” and a whole lot less restricted (I chuckle a little, but I still promise this to myself daily). Anyway, before the pandemic, it’s not that photography had become “not fun” but it had admittedly become less about what I want to photograph and more about what pays the bills. The pandemic allowed me to refocus on what truly gives me joy in photography. Seeing. Wonder. Curiosity. Ordinary life… that is really pretty extraordinary when you look closely enough, and often through the lens of a camera. Yeah, I’m not really making any money right now, but as an artist of various shades I’ve been here before many times and I know I’ll survive. And returning to those things my soul craves was/is worth the months of being out of “work.”

    1. Author

      I love your attitude, Tif. I love that this pandemic has given you the oxgen you needed. Lots of different roads up this mountain! 🙂

  34. Thanks for your words. I think most people at some point feel the same. In my case this year’s was the one I decided to dedicate time to learn about video and photography. I don’t know what the universe is thinking about that and there are moments there that I think this was a very bad idea, but then I stop to think way I decided to make that and, as you tell, the spark is inside and the joy is not gone… Thanks for sharing

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