I realized today just how and when I screwed up my foray into photography. The fundamental malfunction came about at exactly the second that I began to care what anyone else thought about what I was doing.
As I look back on many of the posts in this blog I realize, and sometimes even specifically state, that they are written for the benefit of future-Rob only and that anyone else that happens to read them can take them or leave them and I care not a single whit one way or another. Rereading some of those posts now, current-Rob is extremely impressed and entertained at the moment in time that was crystallized in a few words. Current-Rob is occasionally horrified at an uncorrected grammatical error as well but one takes the good with the bad.
For many years, photography went along in much the same groove. I wandered about, captured what I saw, posted it somewhere in the endless oblivion that is the internet and left it to sit for a decade. When I look back at those photos now I’m similarly impressed by the feelings they summon up for me. Does anyone else get the same vibe from them? I could not possibly care less. They do so for me and to be frank there is no person I would rather give pleasure to than me.
This all went bananas about 9 months ago. I started taking photos at live events, founded Indy Live Photography, and began to have a following. People started to … somewhat … pay attention to me. Sometimes positively and sometimes negatively but most of the time completely failed to care. A big chunk of my psyche started to wind itself up trying to figure out what people liked and what might “sell” and would appeal the masses. I spent thousands of hours taking photos and processing them but somewhere in all that forgot the person I was supposed to be pleasing. Not dissimilarly to the hundreds of idiotic book reviews you’ll find in this blog, I pumped out quantity and forgot about quality and worst of all neglected my only true audience.
So from this day forward I declare simply, and concisely, that you are welcome to look at my work and do what you will with it but I sincerely and completely don’t give a damn what you think because it’s not really for you anyway. You’re not going to look back on it in ten years and think about the nuance of expression in a particular photo or ponder the larger context of the instant in time that was captured… but I am. This is my life in these photos and in these words and you are more than welcome to share them with me but I can’t let you influence them lest they be untrue to me.