It's a passion

Post length: 444 words, almost 2 minutes.

There are a few things I’ve done in my life which I hate while I’m doing it, but keep coming back for more.  One was the sporting results website I ran while at university — for one long weekend every year I’d work 24 hours a day on the site, collating results, piecing things together, and doing some statistical analysis to predict what might happen, as well as being involved with the radio station, and even doing some overnight broadcasts.  I’d finish the weekend and collapse into bed for a few days swearing I’d never do it again.  Yet come the next year there I’d be there to do it all over again.  In the last year or so I thought about it  and came to a conclusion: I must enjoy it, even if I didn’t realise it, because otherwise I wouldn’t keep going back.

And I think sometimes it’s the same with my photography.

I take photos for a living and, don’t get me wrong, I love it.  I get a great feeling of satisfaction from producing something which brings people joy without them thinking about who I am.  (That’s the same with a lot of the work I’ve done: when I’m doing costume character work I enjoy walking around the place I’ve just been working knowing that none of the people who I’ve been interacting with have a clue who I am, and I enjoy working back stage in theatre, adding to the magic without people giving a second thought to me being there.)  But sometimes I get home, collapse into bed, and wonder why I just put myself through that.

This happens most when I’m out with my camera for fun.  I think this is mainly because a lot of the stuff I do for myself is different to the stuff I do professionally — my professional work is usually rehearsal space, studio or theatre based and generally pretty controlled (with some exceptions, of course, and I’m pleased to do those other things), while the stuff I shoot for myself is often outdoors in unpredictable public environments.  It’s kind of the difference between photography as an art and the thrill of capturing that candid moment.

When I’m out for myself I can spend hours on my feet with my heavy kit bag, sometimes walking for miles.  And today I’m suffering from the weekend.  But I still do it.  I still go out with my cameras when I have free time.  Occasionally I have the moments I just described, wondering why on earth I would put myself through that for no apparent gain, but I do.  And you know what?  I love it.

Posted on Monday 21st June, 2010 at 11:40 pm in Obiter dicta, Photography.
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