Is your Life Draining or Fulfilling you?
I haven't picked up my camera for a year. I snap pictures everyday on my phone, mostly for my journal and personal memories.
I don't think I'm burned out, I'm just bored and don't have much of an interest in photography at the moment. Or at least I'm bored with my subject matter. I dunno. I know I'll get excited about shooting again, so it doesn't bother me that I'm not at the moment.
We aren't meant to only DO one thing, or be one thing. There are no rules at all, actually. I think we make up rules and boundaries for ourselves and get it in our heads that we ARE what we do. For me, I've gone through many of these stages. In high school and my 20's I identified as a Fitness Guru. Even though I was still doing ranch work, building fence, cleaning houses and any other job I could get to make ends meet, I told people I was a personal trainer. I lived, breathed, read, watched and studied nutrition and fitness. To the point I missed out on so many things at that time in my life. I had tunnel vision.
Then I transitioned and accidentally picked up a camera one day. Same thing. I had tunnel vision. But I also had both eyes wide open. Kind of like shooting. One eye is focused purely on the sights and target, but the other eye is never fully closed. With photography, I think it taught me to SEE more. I was always LOOKING for the shot before it happened, and that also made me more aware and caused me to be PRESENT in the moment.
But I also got sucked in to thinking I had to achieve all these goals I had set for myself. I figured I needed to be published in magazines, to have the magazine cover shot. To get first place in photo contests, etc. I achieved all of these goals. But they didn't fulfill me like I thought they would.
I also fell into the sinkhole of being an "influencer." I thought that shooting products for names like Yeti and others would bring me fulfillment. WRONG AGAIN. It got to where I felt like I HAD to shoot products, when that isn't what lights my soul on fire. I started DREADING it. It's not that I didn't like, use or recommend the products I shoot, I 100% DO! I just didn't like the place I put myself.
So I just stopped. I just decided I would shoot what and when I wanted. I stopped all paid work. Now, if I like, use and love a product or brand, I shoot a picture here and there when I am actually using the product and will post it.
The world is fake, and setting up photo shoots for products or anything else drains me and makes me feel fake. I'm not bashing anyone who does this. It's needed to get good product shots. It's just not for ME.
I'm not sure what is for me, but I feel myself shifting gears yet again. Especially when I scroll social media and see more and more people shooting similar lifestyles and setting up shots. I'm one to do something exactly opposite of what the crowd is doing.....so when I find myself being part of a crowd, I go ahead and walk away.
I have a few ideas and roads I'm looking at travelling as far as photography goes. I LOVE shooting and DOCUMENTING. I know in the past the subjects that really made me feel alive were the ones where deep in my guts I KNEW were going to be lost in time. I KNOW I was documenting events and people that will never happen again.
Our graveyards, dumps, hospitals and open land are filling up faster than ever but it seems we are getting emptier inside. Spending a lot of time alone, putting the brakes on and really thinking about WHAT fills your soul up can perhaps SLOW down the filling of the above. Hell, I don't know. Just some thoughts.
Hopefully wherever you find yourself in life right now you find yourself FULFILLED. If not, it's never too late to start making changes. Simply start with your hobbies. Ask yourself if you are doing them because the FULFILL you or for some other reason that my be DRAINING you. Then make the changes needed. From there, move on to your social life, then relationships, career and home life.
Ranching fulfills me. I LOVE aspects of it. I love all the seasons and the different work that comes with each. I love feeding and I LOVE workhorses. There's just a peacefulness and calm they give me. A contentment. So here are a few iphone pictures from the last month of that until I can give you something else that lights me up.