What happened to my photography?

I’ve always been a photographer. Since I was a kid when my parents bought me my first camera for Christmas. They used to complain that I always took pictures that had no people in them. I was a shy kid and in many ways I am still a shy adult. The camera gave me a way to interact with the world and with people from a safe distance.

Through my teen years the camera became a shield and a way to express myself. Working quietly and alone in the darkroom at school was a good way to escape the bullying. Photography like swimming was something that I could do in my own company.

When Photography became my work it changed from a passion to something I did for money and a lot of the joy went out of it. I like many new artists discovered that I didn’t know as much as I thought and I had some very big disasters. I was undeterred but also became a little gun shy.

Later my dream job came along and couldn’t believe it. My enthusiasm was now tempered by maturity, a healthy understanding of my own limits and a much more professional outlook and approach to my work. I started to find the joy in it again.

It was also around this time in London that I became desperately unhappy and started to suffer from depression more deeply than at any time before. I was spending so much time taking pictures for work that I was too exhausted to pick up the camera on my time off and slowly but surely photography once again became a job rather than a passion. I’d collapse in to bed at the end of the day without even thinking about taking pictures for my own enjoyment.

Inspiration is a strange thing. It can come at any time and disappear just as quickly. I tried on many occasions to rediscover my self through my camera in London. I have always found that going for a walk with the camera cheers me up but stress kills creativity dead in it’s tracks. Pressures at work and home, loneliness and homesickness meant that my head wasn’t in a creative place for a long time.

The truth is that while the last 5 or so years have been a wonderful journey for my knowledge and experience as a photographer they have also been hellishly difficult for me personally and emotionally and my camera has sadly come to represent that awful time.

I’m a creative by nature and I expect I will find my joy in it again but it’s not something I can force.


Why the camera adds 10 pounds. A picture does not always tell the truth.



Continuing on from my other articles talking about body image and the aesthetics culture I discovered this article on Petapixel which talks about how focal length and your distance from the subject can effect how the subject looks. As a photographer I’m aware of this but I think it’s useful to talk about in the context of body issues here on the blog.

This isn’t going to be a photography lesson. You can read the original article if you want the technical stuff. The point I want to make is that all those pictures you see of hot guys in mags and online have been taken and manipulated by people who need to sell you the perfect body image so that you will buy shit or buy shit from their advertisers. It’s also why you can take photos on your phone or point and shoot camera and wonder why you look so skinnier, bigger or why you look so different.

Generally if your shooting selfies on your phone standing closer to the mirror will make you look skinnier than if you are standing further away. It’s why your face changes shape depending on where you hold the camera, it’s more to do with the camera than how you actually look. If I’m using a point and shoot I try to stick to 50mm or 35mm at a pinch. It’s always better to step away from your subject than to go wider with your frame.

Above all, always remember before you beat yourself up for not looking like a male model that chances are they don’t look exactly like their picture either.

Happy snapping.