A little like Drowning.

Yesterday I woke up miserable. Like, it was 4:30 AM and I had no intentions on going to work that day. My body had shut down and I couldn't stop crying. I weeped for a loss that has been enveloping me for two years. I know it's palpable and I feel guilty as hell about it for some stupid reason.I feel like Sookie when she learns that her power is finite. Like a dog who forgot how to wag it's tail. 

I made a post on Instagram proclaiming that I need to step back from the Internet for a while and focus more on this blog/page and cultivate it, and get back to what it is about photography that made me happy. But people read it as I was quitting. Like putting my camera down forever and walking away for good... Like... What?


No. I'm not quitting. Doing that would be the shortest trip over a bridge for me, are you serious? I said "holiday hiatus", meaning I'll come back when I feel like it after the holidays.. Again, perception is key.  I just feel like whatever recent work I've done, isn't my best. I don't look at it the same way as everyone else. And that's not fair to my clients.  It's the same reason I've lived with none of my art on any of the skyscraper walls in my foyer. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it post its own work on the walls type shit.

I don't ask for help, ever. I brave my own storms and endure the brunt of my own internal abuse with silent suffering. I've been running from the inevitable, my passion for this art fading like Marty's family photo. And I am completely paralyzed as to what to do about it. Morgan reminded me about "decision paralysis" where your brain has been overloaded with so many decisions in a day it just can't take any more. So by the end of the day you're just zapped. It's exhausting and I remember in my initial talks to a therapist they mentioned this. I'm in my head a lot and it's not good for me to over analyze and make mountains from molehills, worry myself into a rut and just overall beat myself up.  Leaving me with no energy to create.

I think taking a break from the stimulants that pit the best me against the worst me would be best for a while. I can't compare myself to other photogs and get stinging wanderlust on IG anymore. So I unfollowed a lot of people. It is what it is. And I need to just fucking deal with it. So I'm taking a radio silence, only to be broken by images I post here. Because I spent a lot of time revamping my page and bringing the blog center, writing is cathartic and I miss it.  I find when I do it I can pull all the negativity from my head and make it dissipate and make more sense to me on the page.  If I were to reflect the way I feel in my images, it would go really dark, really fast...  Which I guess is ok. People like that imagery.  I'm in a place where I don't know what will make me feel better.  

I feel like a drippy Lana Del Rey song, oozing with melancholy and woe is me. I see this period as weakness and not something I like talking about or musing over online. The internet has turned into a  wasteland of trolls and drama queens. Literally everyone is here now and it took 20 years to break me. So.. I'm going to slink off and hide because its what I do best. Cowardice was never a strong suit of mine but it's warm and comfortable this time around. I've never taken pleasure tucking my tail. 

I do very much want to shoot still. I still very much want to be commissioned and asked to help in cool projects. And weddings, and portraits and just overall work. Or just be a part of others' work.  I just want to shoot and feel good about what I'm producing.  I feel the pressure to compose and produce images that are wildly popular online, and I cannot compete with that. Not until I have the gear I feel is appropriate for me to do such work. When I complain about this outwards I'm told by those with more expensive gear and less experience than me that "its not the gear Brenda, its the photographer...Make what you have work"... Ok, well, for starters I've done my own thing for a really long time and have seen the processing fads come and go, the use of filters and brushes in Photoshop... But now that it's readily accessible to the everyday schmo,  what they have is "good enough", and they let that Costco camera they had to have to shoot their kids last spring collect dust when they realize their images are Pinterest failures..  So, I think I've earned the right to bitch about wanting a new camera body. 

I have to understand that people want shit for free or nearly close to, especially when they think "well, I can do that." if they have a fancy new phone or a Costco special. I'm a small commodity that makes a huge difference in how you see yourself.  And if I can't see the beauty in my work currently, you wont either.  If I'm not excited about my work, nobody else will, either. And that's not fair to work with people who are excited to work with you and  you only half ass what you're doing. That's passion giving it's last breath.  I need to resuscitate it on my own.

Brenda Vaughn2 Comments