A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine told me she was so happy to see me getting back into photography after my break.
My break? What break?
Up until that point I hadn’t even considered I was on or had been on a break. Yes, I’d let my work slip a little bit and I wasn’t going out to take photographs as much as I liked or wanted to. That didn’t mean I had stopped completely though, did it?
I have to admit that I let it get to me a little bit more than it should have. I should have been happy that people were seeing a change and the excitement that I have for photography again. I didn’t understand how I couldn’t have noticed this lapse that other people had.
The more I think about it, I’ve kind of realised she was right. Two years ago I decided to force myself to take my photography more seriously. In doing that I put myself in a situation that I wasn’t comfortable with. I was taking on more work and with it more pressure. I opened up the lab to the public and took on more responsibility and paperwork and admin as well as trying to pursue my own photography. I also tried to take on more commercial work. All while working full time. It just wasn’t a viable way of running my business and my life.
It all came to a head when I got my job at the University and suddenly, with a commute to Edinburgh, certain things had to be cut. I closed the photo lab as a business and I stopped taking on commercial work. The plan was to focus on my photography and do it for me – I definitely do not take it for granted how lucky I am to be in a position where I have a job that funds my relatively expensive side-project.
The problem was; I didn’t pick it back up. I settled into my job and my new routine and I just didn’t fit photography into it. The pressure I had been under had almost killed the joy I found in photography. Almost.
I always like to take part in the Fire Station Creative open studios and I will be the first to admit the past couple have been full of empty promises that work (and a website and online shop and social media…) are coming soon. This year, however, something changed. I’ve been helping a friend work on her Photography course and it sparked my excitement again. I work best when I have a project to focus on and I’ve committed myself to a couple of things in the coming months which is pushing me even more.
Someone told me the other day that artists don’t really make good business people. Which might not necessarily be true but I definitely think it is for me. I pushed myself to be so business oriented that it killed my passion and I nearly lost it.
I wouldn’t call it a comeback but I would say it feels like a reawakening for me. I’m more focused and eager to plan shoots and projects and even the website and shop! If you get a chance to come along to one of our Open Studios, definitely pop in and see if I finally kept my promises.