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Rut

I'm in a rut. Not necessarily in a creative or business rut, just... kind of trying to figure out why I'm doing what I'm doing. I don't know why I'm this way, but I feel like I constantly need to have a purpose, or I end up being sad at myself. Part of me wants to be ok with not having a purpose; I enjoy taking pictures, especially of people - specifically in an artsy kind of way - so really I guess the purpose of that kind of photography is simply joy. I like taking pictures of beautiful people, and I like making those people feel beautiful. So can't that be good? But then the other part of me says, well but why ultimately am I taking these photos? What good is it doing? How is it making the world a better place? Who am I helping? And then, selfishly, another part of me begins to wonder about the impact my photography is having; there are literally tens of thousands of photographers in the state of Arkansas alone, whether they own a professional business, or whether they're like me and just have it as a side job or whatever. Do I constantly have to find ways to stand out? Because if you look at my photos in comparison to the thousands of other photographers, they hardly stand out. Is it my editing? Is it my content? Am I not original enough? Am I not showing enough skin? Are my locations not cool enough? Am I dressing them in the right outfits? And then I ask myself...Why do I even care?? I don't want to care! Yes, I want people to like my pictures, but why? Engagement, family, and wedding pictures are all fine - obviously you want them to like the photos because they will be wonderful memories for those people to look back on. But what about everything else? What about my portraits or landscapes? What about my attempts at fashion or art? WHO CARES if I don't get 100 likes on a photo. WHO CARES if I don't have a large following? I enjoy taking photos and I like the ones I post on my Instagram and blog, so why do I constantly seem to need the approval and acceptance of other people? YES I want to continue to grow and to learn so that I can be the best that I can be, and YES it would be amazing if photography, the thing that I love and am passionate about, became a means of income for me, and YES, to know that clients loved the photos and kept them as memories forever would be immeasurably rewarding...But if not, I still want to take pictures. Shouldn't that be a good enough reason to just keep taking pictures for my own pleasure and not evaluate myself or compare my work to others? Yes. No...I don't know. I look at other photographers who have made a name for themselves, who care deeply about what they do, and who are loved by their clients and other artists, and I think - I want that. But I acknowledge and respect that those photographers have kicked their own butts to get where they are. And it's not like I'm not willing to do the same, but if I can't even figure out WHY I'm taking pictures, how am I supposed to move forward and truly become my best with my purpose set in stone if I don't know why I'm doing what I'm doing? 

This honestly may seem like a petty thing to you - which hopefully means you have it figured out. It may seem simple to you, and trust me, I'm trying to get to the point where I say to myself, Oh yeah DUH that's exactly how I should be thinking. And I'm trying, I promise. But right now, I'm in a rut. I don't want to think, if only I had access to this location, if only I had these models, if only if only... I don't want my passion for photography to be circumstantial, and I do NOT want to care what other people think. I just want to be overall joyful and to get over myself. 

I am grateful for the connections I've made, for the clients I've worked with, for the opportunities I've had - I don't want to leave this without saying that. I am thankful and blessed. That's all. 

 Photo by Ashel Parsons

Photo by Ashel Parsons

abby tran