I am always amazed at the workshop experience. I start out being baffled that people think there's some secret to be learned. By the end of the day I end up learning much more about myself and my relationship with photography. My constant conclusion? I should spend more time shooting.
Someone asked me, recently, what I would do with my time if I no longer had to work to support myself and my family. For a second or so I thought about our whole social construct. Of course, we could sell our house and a lot of my toys and probably live fine on what we've already saved. But there's that striving gene. The "gotta put the boy thru school" ethos. That "need new ________ mantra." But after a few moments lost in the delirium of just dropping out I respond, from the heart, I would basically do just what I do right now. Make photographs that show people my happy and optimistic view of the world around me.
I guess I would swim more. But wouldn't we all swim more if we had more free time? No? I'm shocked and confused.
Maybe I'd take more road trips to Balmorhea Springs and.........
Spend more time really looking at the little fish on the bottom of the pool.....
Or watching beautiful sunsets.
Or going to more plays and performances....but wait, I'm already go to 28,000 times more than the average American....
I guess I could also learn what's on all the cable channels. But probably not, since we don't subscribe to cable and wouldn't start if I stopped raking in the fortune that commercial photographers all make.
I'd have more time to venture out and meet beautiful people and ask them to sit for me so I could work on my skills as a portrait photographer. That's a relentless goal anyway.
And you know that, if I didn't have to work, I'd become a fixture at the Paris fashion shows. Just, you know, to keep my runway chops in shape. Might be easier now, in the days of AF and digital. But where's the challenge in that?
But really, whether we call it work or a hobby isn't photography just an excuse to look more closely and relentlessly at the people and things around us? Maybe it helps us understand something. Or maybe it just lets us play with patterns in the chaos.
Kind of a silly blog post but I've spent time today just looking at old photographs and reconciling the ways in which they inform what I do right now. I'm about to make a big shift in the way I work. Away from the traditional business construct and into areas that are self directed. More creative. More multi-disciplinary. And when you read the blog you're along for part of the ride.
More books. But self directed books. So I don't have to feel guilty if they don't sell. More film projects that make televisions worth having. And more intersections with other artists.
The cool thing about being in a creative field is that whatever boundaries exist they are all self constructed. And whatever you want to do you are free to do. And that's a cool thing to realize.
The last image is just me shooting into a mirrored window at some giant, skyscraper high-rise with the Austin Music Hall reflected in the background.