I know I talk about photography a lot- it's a major part of who I am. Yes, I love the fact that this skill set allows me to preserve emotion and create art out of the world around me. I love showing off a final product that I'm proud of. Oftentimes, though, photography plays a more personal role in my life.
This past week is a good example of the point I'm trying to make. I'm not sure what was up it; things just felt slightly off kilter. I was anxious without any tangible reason to be, and it's hard to figure out how to fix a problem when you're not sure where it stems from. I'm unfortunately very familiar with that mindset, although I find myself in it a lot less than I did when I was younger. I was the kid that just never stopped worrying. In my world, insignificant details turned into catastrophes. I'd like to think I'm a lot more laid back now, but for me, it's still such an easy state of mind to slip into.
So, how do you handle weeks like that? I called my friend Katie and we went on a photo adventure that turned into one of the best Fridays I've had in a while. Katie has become one of my favorite people to photograph; in addition to being a crazy talented photographer in her own right, she's an honest, genuine person who inspires me every time we're together.
This little adventure was just what I needed. After an evening filled with exploring abandoned houses and taking pictures, I felt like myself again.
Yes, I've tried yoga. I've been putting off learning how to meditate for several years now. I keep a fairly consistent exercise routine, and I usually get enough sleep. I've tried other ways of dealing with myself that have proved to be more self-destructive than beneficial. Despite it all, I'm not very good at being a relaxed person, but I've found photography to be the most productive way to channel negative emotions. Creating something that I'm proud of, even through something small like an afternoon spent with a camera and a good friend, is the most effective form of therapy I've found.
In short, photography has probably saved me from myself more times than I'd like to admit.
I'm not always a good person, but photography makes me better. Because of the pictures I take, I am much more patient, more empathetic, more understanding. It's irrevocably changed the way I view the world around me and the people in it, and I owe so much of who I am as a person to my art.
I'm not sure what my life would look like if I wasn't a photographer, but I do know this: it would definitely be less colorful.