The first time I do anything, I am a bundle of nerves. I like knowing exactly what to expect and how it will look and feel. When I had the opportunity to show my work in a gallery for the first time, all my nerves got together and decided to throw a party. After all the big decisions of what to show and getting my photos down to the curator, I had the smaller decisions to make. What do I wear? How early do I get there? How late do I stay? What will I feel like afterwards? I started reading blog posts and articles on the subject. One recurring theme was the warning of the let down after the show was over. Let down? I just reached my big goal for 2014 and I am going to feel let down?
Yes, yes I am. A few days after the show, a sadness crept over me. I have spent some time processing it and I think I landed on why I am feeling this sadness and disappointment. When I imagined my photos hanging on the walls of a public building, I imagined my heart knowing…. really knowing… that I was a photographer. Somehow, I thought I would believe in myself more. I imagined that my heart and mind would change the way I felt about my work. However, my heart and mind did not change that quickly.
With some time, change did come. For the first time in my journey of taking photographs, I realized wanted to please myself. I think any photographer, or any artist, would say this is a huge shift in thinking. Suddenly, what I think of myself and my work is the most important thing. I have finally answered the questions, “What am doing with my photography? What is reason behind each click?” Ready for it? I take photos because I love it. And with each click, I see light dancing on something and I must capture it.
Does this mean I don’t care what other people think of my photography or that I don’t want to hear if it moves them? No. Every artist loves to hear those things. We long to inspire others. We hope we touch hearts. It means that I also long to inspire myself. It means I have become my own muse. My love for light is all there is, and it is enough.