The start of a new year is a good time to make changes. For the past couple of months I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking, and brainstorming with friends trying decide on what direction I want to take my photo blog this coming year.
One dilemma I have is how often to post photos. I’ve been inconsistent since I started this blog. Sometimes I’ll have several photos in a week. Sometimes I may go weeks without posting. I follow a number of other photographers. Some post daily, some post seldom. My favorites post once or twice each week. Often enough to keep followers engaged, not so often that followers get bored with their work.
I’ve also toyed with the idea of shooting more color photos. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about my black and white work. I have also received some criticism. But then I remind myself why I do this photo blog: I do it for FUN.
After my untimely departure from the news industry in 2018, I felt lost as a photographer. I started this website to have a place to showcase my work as I looked for another job. At first I started shooting many of the same types of events that I covered while working at a newspaper. That’s what others expected of me. But I was unmotivated and, quite frankly, it felt depressing to try to relive past glory.
The job I eventually found was non-photography related. I continued with this blog for fun, but was still struggling with motivation. I started giving myself different photography challenges, such as shooting with only one lens for an entire month or shooting a certain style. That helped some. Then in February of 2020 I gave myself a 28-day B&W challenge. I loved it! I suddenly rediscovered the joy I once had in photography. I’ve been shooting mostly B&W ever since.
B&W takes me back to my early days in photography. As a kid I always enjoyed shooting lots of photos with my 110 Instamatic. But I didn’t get serious about photography until my sophomore year in high school. I was talking to the instructor who was in charge of the school darkroom and asked him if he would teach me how to develop film. He said, “Sure,” and asked if I would want to shoot photos for the high school yearbook. I said, “Sure!”
I was hooked. Photography was fun! And being the shy kid I was, it opened up so many doors for me. With a camera in my hand I could suddenly approach anyone to take their picture. I could even approach the cool kids in school. The camera was my security blanket.
As I was reflecting about my start in photography it dawned on me, ever since Day 1 with a real camera I was always shooting photos for other people – specifically editors, reporters and readers. First for the high school yearbook, then student publications in college, and then professionally for newspapers. It was fun, I enjoyed it. How many people can take their favorite hobby and turn it into a profession? But I was always shooting photos to please others.
Now, for the first time in my adult life, I am shooting photos to please only one person. Me! And guess what? Shooting B&W photos pleases me.
So with the new year here, I realize I am having fun and there is no need for big changes in my blog. I will still be shooting mostly B&W, but maybe not exclusively. The only change I plan on making is to try to be more consistent with how often I post photos.
Here’s to a happy and fun 2022!