Another Year, Another Moment of Reflection

 

I blinked my eyes on 1 January 2015, and I was transported straight to the end of November 2015… or at least that’s what it felt like. Time, as a concept, is fleeting, yet we do not really acknowledge this fact. Most of us simply trudge on, without stopping for a second to think. Thankfully, as photographers, we have no choice but to reflect—on the pictures we have made, on the moments we have witnessed and on the innumerable photographic possibilities that we can come across. For me, the monthly edit note is my way to have a moment for my thoughts, and today I’m thinking about the year that was and what I learned in it.

The first thing I learnt, and it was not easy to learn, is that the most important person I need to make happy with my photographs, is me. Maybe a style of photography is in trend, maybe my colleagues prefer a certain type of photograph… but do I? Recognising your personal preference is key to becoming a better and happier photographer. The second lesson this year was about unlearning what I have already learnt. Too often, I found myself thinking about the rules, which would get me to question my own photographic abilities. This led me to conclude—there is no rule that cannot be broken (unless it’s an enforced law, in which case, don’t break it!), so it is okay to follow your own vision, if it leads to a better photograph.

Third, it’s okay to not want to shoot. Not feeling the urge to make pictures does not mean you will never shoot again. It’s okay to take a break, you will feel that need to shoot when the time is right… you may end up shooting with a whole new vision. And finally, I learnt to let go. Let go of all my fears, insecurities and prejudices I have about making pictures. If you enjoy what you shoot instead of overthinking every small thing, it will show. And it is this pursuit of happiness, that I am now after. Happy shooting in 2016!

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