It has been a couple weeks since my last blog post. The good news is that I have a couple of new shoots that I am finishing up getting ready to publish here soon (including a set from the image above with Lesley) and a couple more on the calendar for the coming weeks. My shoot with Lesley was on April 28th and came together really quickly with amazing results. While Lesley and I were shooting, our conversation was incredibly natural and thought provoking.
At some point, I actually became very open and vocal with self introspection during our conversation. I shared that my last shoot was in November of 2017. That means almost 5 months had passed since I had picked up my camera; to photograph anything. She questioned me why and the words just started spilling out of me. I told her that I had scheduled 4 or 5 shoots during that time frame but as it got closer and closer to the date of the shoot, my anxiety kicked in. You see, when I first schedule and plan a shoot I am so excited about who I am going to be photographing and what I know we would produce. Then a little bit of what becomes crippling self doubt kicks in. What if you screw up the rolls of film? What if what you set out to capture ends up falling apart and the end result looks like some drab, boring shit? Why do you keep shooting in all the same spaces because eventually you know everyone will think the images all look the same?
This self doubt is my at times crippling anxiety and depression slipping in and taking control. See, I know that I am capable of producing imagery that people want to see. More importantly, I also know that if I actually pick up the camera to capture images with these people that I will be able to tell a story with them. I also know that I am able to use this space, that I self admittedly have grown a little to comfortable shooting in, and still create images that look unique and tell a new story. Unfortunately, for the past four and a half months I have allowed this anxiety and depression win. I have cancelled shoots with people that I have been incredibly excited to work with. I straight up flaked on appearing at an art show I was supposed to be hanging work at. I have pretty much only left my house to go to work, take the girls to school, go grocery shopping; pretty much only the things I need to do to survive. I have literally let this control me to the point where I ended up abandoning all the creative things that motivated and inspired me.
While shooting and talking with Lesley, these realizations poured out of my head and through my mouth. I finally put a name to the things that were holding me back. A sense of calm rushed in and a smile crept back on my face. Please don’t get me wrong, I still have the moments where I start doubting myself but I am re-learning how to actually stay in control again.
I have spent a couple weeks thinking about if I was actually going to write this post and share it with everyone. It’s still a little scary to do it but I needed to explain my disappearing act behavior and publicly apologize for it. The past three months have been so busy for me and I only have 4 days a month where I am kiddo free. I got so excited about what little free time that I actually got so overwhelmed by what I could do and what I was planning to do; that I literally did nothing but sit in my house by myself, not communicating with anyone and disappearing from the outside world. Shutting down and closing myself off. But I feel like my actually writing and publishing this, I am giving my actions a name and becoming accountable for my actions and lack of actions and communication.
Ok. There. I said it. I got it out. Now here are a couple more images from my shoot with Lesley.