Comfort Zone

Over the past few months, I’ve begun to realize how much I really love taking photos of people. Taking a photo of someone I know well makes the whole process incredibly easy, as they’re already relaxed. I’ve also realized that street photography (think candid moments of total strangers) terrifies the hell out of me. I’ve been working on it with some of my smaller point and shoots, and occasionally my medium format cameras, but the whole thing is a little nerve wracking.

Shot with the Bronica ETRsi, Sunny 16, self developed and scanned. Fuji PRO400H

Shot with the Bronica ETRsi, Sunny 16, self developed and scanned. Fuji PRO400H

Street photography requires quick actions to capture the moment, and typically the image becomes more powerful when the subject of the photograph is in some way interacting with you.

But, I’m an introvert, so interacting with total strangers is an absolute no-no for me. I’d much rather just sit back and wait for something to unfold in front of me. As I think shows in the photo below, it works sometimes.

Just sat and waited. Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Just sat and waited. Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Another personality trait that I so graciously acquired, perfectionism. I hate failure, so if I don’t think I’ll succeed fully at something, I might quit at it halfway through just to avoid that failure. I’ve written about failure before, and also the benefits of recognizing those failures.

Performing in Madison, WI. Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Performing in Madison, WI. Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

So to stick with the spirit of failing and pushing my personal boundaries, I’m going to give myself a challenge for the next thirty days. Take one portrait, of one stranger, each and every day. Just the thought of it makes me uncomfortable, which is exactly the reason I should, and need to do this. I’ve done weird little personal projects from time to time, but never anything so far out of my comfort zone.

It starts today, so expect to see another blog post pertaining to this one in about a month and a half. Until then, enjoy some more random photos :)

Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Canon Sure Shot. Kodak Portra 400.

Drive and Direction

Every second or third Thursday, I go and see my therapist. I’ve been seeing him on and off for the past year and a half. He’s been absolutely instrumental in helping me with my direction, my personal issues, and life in general. He inspired this blog post, so, thank you Jeff.

Almost every person you meet along your way in life, has a passion of some sort. Some people have a passion for sewing, maybe painting. No matter the craft, bringing an idea into fruition is one of the most validating and rewarding things you can do. Holding something tangible, something real, that you made, it’s pure bliss.

At this very moment, I’m surrounded by different cameras, film I have developed myself, and photos I made are hanging on the wall. It’s clear to me that this is my passion. I love learning about the world around me, but this is the one thing that I have always come back to. It’s one of the few consistent things in my life (Miah of course is one), and sometimes that consistency provides solace in this hectic world of ours.

For the past two years, I’ve been trying to figure out how to turn this passion that I have into a career, something I can do day after day, and still be happy.

Jeff explained the situation as this (not exactly):

Passion is the engine, the fuel that makes the car go. People have the fuel, the energy, but they don’t always have the ability to direct themselves where they want to go. The steering wheel is that direction, it’s how you channel that passion.

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The artist’s dilemma, how do I make this my reality? When you’re starting at the bottom, you won’t just fall into success. You have to sit down, figure out a plan, and execute it. I’ve been slowly piecing together this steering wheel, so I can finally drive the car with the roaring engine, where I want. It’s slow, there’s lots of friction, it’s frustrating, but I’m figuring it out.

I applied for a part time job, making more money hourly, but will be working much fewer hours in total. In this particular situation, getting a new job and no longer working at my full-time gig is the catalyst that will kick my ass into the next step. It’s motivation to keep pressing forward; motivation to make my dreams a reality.

I’m on the right road, at least I think I am. Wherever it takes me, I’m excited to see where it goes.