An Identity Crisis

There’s been a turning point in my photographic life – and I can’t pin down exactly when that happened, but at some point in the last two years, for me, lots of things changed – albeit slowly.

The pandemic that has swept the world has made for some terrible tragedy – but at the same time, people have changed for the better – their attitudes, endeavours and the way they work.  More camera clubs are having virtual meetings, which allows people to join in from their homes, and from a clubroom at the same time.

As a result of this, we have all been able to view more high quality imagery than ever before, and selfishly, I don’t want that to stop. I booked the most amazing speakers for my own club over the last two years, and frankly I’m going to miss that intense and consistent impact it has had on my work.  

I know I’ve got to let go to some extent, and be myself, but it absolutely does no harm to continue to study the work of others, and listen to their points of view, so I hope that our ability to share talks and presentations with other camera clubs does not end here, as we approach some kind of ‘normality’ again.

I realise that in the process of finding your own photographic voice, you have to have that ‘identity crisis’ –  something will happen, or you will see or hear something that will influence the way you think, and take you in a totally different direction – and that trip can help define both what you are doing now, and where you are going in the future.

I asked a couple of people what sort of things had changed their photographic direction, and both said that it was by looking at work from other, more accomplished, photographers.  They have seen work they would not have been able to experience previously, as often the work was from photographers they had not heard of before.

As we open our eyes to what is out there, and view the work of others, we see possibilities not thought of in our own minds.  It can help us decide what we are going to do as we move forward, or even refine what we are doing now.

My turning point wasn’t an actual point, it was more of a long smooth curve which I hope will continue – but I absolutely don’t want to go full circle and end up where I started.