Disclaimer: As I write this I’m currently recovering from a sprained hip (yep I didn’t know that was possible either but it hurts like a mother…) and have some heavy duty pain killers. If things start to become non sensical waffle, then that’s why. On the bright side I get to use my great grandad’s walking stick and it makes me feel like Yoda, so there’s that.
Back in November I made the decision to give up my desk at my co-working space and take some time away from commercial photography. It wasn’t a reflection on the space, which I would still recommend to anyone, but the plan was to take a month off, come back in January to hot desk with a view to taking on a desk again full time sometime in Feb or March.
It’s April now, any guesses on how that turned out?
Yeah, that didn’t quite pan out…
So, why the silence over the last few weeks?
I’ve been taking some time away from social media and commercial commissions, focusing on my health and assisting other photographers. It’s only now I’m coming out of this season of rest that I’m realising how much I needed it. Been fighting burn out for a while now and it finally got to a point where I needed to stop, take stock and figure out what I actually wanted. I went down the path of commercial photography because it’s what I’d been doing during uni and I felt like it was what I should be doing. However, there’s a big difference about doing something because you should, not because you actually want too.
Truth is, I don’t mind doing commissions but I miss working on my own projects and it’s something I’ve neglected over the last couple of years to prioritise earning through photography.
So I’ve made the decision to step away from working full time on commercial projects. That’s not to say I won’t take on commercial commissions and that I hated doing it, far from it. I worked with some brilliant teams and wonderful clients and if the right projects come along then hell yeah, count me it. It just means I’m going to be a lot more selective and focus more on the research/art side of the practice and assisting other photographers. I had an instinct going in that long term working purely commercially wouldn’t suite me but it was important to dive head first and give it a go, at least then it’s a decision based on experience, not fear.
As scary as this pivot is, I’m pretty excited. Feel like I’ve rediscovered the thing that makes me want to be a photographer. Back in my first post I hinted at how lost I was feeling within my work, for the first time in my recent career I don’t feel lost and have a renewed sense of purpose with my practice. I’ve got a plan for something currently under wraps; whether or not it pans out I’ll let you know in soon once the wheels are turning.
With that in mind, I’m working on a side project called Spectral Shores, a new blog dedicated to writing about photography. Spectral Shores is a place where I’ll be working on longer form essays, exhibition reviews and documenting my research and work about coastal erosion on the North Norfolk coastline. I’m launching it in early May and it’ll be a borderline academic space, so if you’re interested in that then feel free to check it out, I’ve started an instagram account for it where you can stay tuned for updates and work on this project.
As for this blog, it’ll still continue in a similar vein, photo journals, life behind the lens etc; I’ve got a mountain of 35mm to scan and a couple of shoots from the last month I’m excited to share.
As wonderful as this season of rest has been, it’s exciting to be coming to the end of it.
(Well, hip sprain aside)