Their sixth anniversary is coming up in less than two weeks (one of the first weddings I had photographed!) and, this year, they have a whole new level of thankfulness, respect, and love in their household. After years of struggling with infertility and a journey through doctor’s appointments, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer, there was a positive pregnancy test. I was so honored to document the tail-end of Lisa’s pregnancy at their maternity session in July and I got to step into their newborn world a week ago and photograph their beautiful little daughter, Vaida, in a lifestyle session.
Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. I couldn’t figure out why. I felt moody and sad.
It wasn’t until a few days ago as I clicked into all my social media that I realized there was little to do with my friends anymore on there and more to do with promotions, other photographers, and random things that I don’t even care about. I started putting things together.
As an artist, I am always striving to capture beautiful images with my camera. I love the click of the shutter and the scroll of my camera wheel as I adjust the settings. I thrive on this. I am happy when I have a camera in my hand. But then I go to my computer and am bombarding by images and art that others have created. And no matter how pleased I was with my own art–how proud I am in myself–I instantly feel inadequate.
I have long said that on the weekends I do not have a wedding, Sundays are the worst days. Because that’s when my feeds are spilling over with “look at this beautiful moment yesterday” at someone else’s wedding. And while I do the same thing myself for my clients and their guests, I am realizing that as an artist, I can’t subject myself to it all the time. It makes me burnout. I feel like I can never accomplish anything when I’m constantly looking at others and comparing myself, even while trying not to.
I feel cluttered. Really cluttered.
So, save a few artists–leaders in the industry–whose work I really, really admire, I have started decluttering. It’s been incredibly hard for me to do this because, as much as I hate this feeling, I also don’t like to feel left out and I also truly do appreciate great art. But I’m doing it…for my own sanity. For my own artistry. My Reader feed has diminished by almost half, my Twitter feed has only news (and gossip) now, and my FB feed has mostly friends, clients, and fellow photographers (but not necessarily their business pages).
The juxtaposition of this cleaning spree is that I have always wanted stronger readership here on my blog and have wanted more interaction both here and on my Facebook page and yet I realize that by my own cleaning spree, I am inadvertently suggesting people clean out of their clutter as well, which could mean cleaning me out.
So I guess I’m going back to the beginning. I’m blogging because I want to and it doesn’t matter who–if anyone–reads it.
I just want to go back to my artistic roots. To write, to photograph, to design…freely. To quiet the constant buzz of others around me doing their own amazing things and to concentrate on becoming a better artist myself. To be both content and yet still nudging towards becoming better. To enjoy silence and to breathe deeply.