Why I do photography

Hello!

You know, it’s hard to keep up something if you’re not entirely sure why you’re doing it. It’s made even worse when you have mental illnesses which constantly eat away at your personality and interests leaving you feeling so uninterested, empty and inadequate. Now you add that with more responsibilities such as employment and you find that most of the time you have to yourself, you just want to rest because holy shit you are fucking exhausted. I have felt this way for a couple of months now. I’m in full-time employment for the rest of this summer and because of that I’ve been way too tired to do anything I enjoy. Most of the time when I get home from work I just want to eat, chill with my other half then sleep. Unfortunately, this means my hobbies and interests have become less of a priority.

Luckily, I got a few days off work and I read some inspiring words so that I feel ready to get back into working on my photography and blogging! But before I can commit to working again, I need to explore why exactly I do photography. So here’s why I photograph:

 

  • To focus on the beauty of nature.

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Even when I think I should stop taking pictures because it’s ultimately “meaningless” and “worthless”, one thing I know for certain is that ever since I started considering myself an amateur photographer, I have paid so much more attention to my surroundings. I am so in love with the natural world and all of its phenomena. Taking pictures has helped me see just how gorgeous the world we live in is and most of the time, it’s free to experience the breathtaking scenes nature has to offer. It’s pure and poetic; wild and powerful.

 

With my camera, I can zoom in to truly appreciate the details my eyes would otherwise miss. My attention is entirely taken by what’s in front of the lens and I can be present. So I guess to summarise this, I do photography to allow myself to be entirely in the moment with nature and to see just how much beauty there is even when human beings are acting like trash.

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  • To pay attention to the moments worth photographing.

From my massive crush on nature, photography also highlights what’s important to me, even when I may not recognise it at the time. So what exactly makes a moment worth photographing? From scrolling through my favourite pictures, it’s always when I feel the most alive. It’s always when I’m smiling and happy with my loved ones or looking at something I connect with or find comforting.

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The XX @ Cardiff, 2017

 

Sometimes it’s just a pretty meal out or the way the light hits a certain object, either way, I now know what makes me feel good. With my photography, I want to pursue those things. I want to live a life full of moments I want to photograph – not a life driven by empty photographs taken out of needing to prove “I photograph”. This means my photography will most likely remain a hobby. I’m not about to be featured in any galleries or magazines, but that’s okay.

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The British Museum, London.

 

  • To always capture my partner’s beauty.

In a nutshell, my photography is mostly landscapes and candid pictures of my significant other. I didn’t realise this at first, but she inspired me to start taking my photography a little more “seriously” because of just how much her beauty has always made me so weak. I started taking pictures of her because I wanted her to see what I see. I wasn’t very good at expressing how cheesy and soppy in love I am but with pictures of her, I hoped she’d see I’m always paying attention to her.

heathproject6Now, I take pictures of her as a way to focus on her and the times we spend together. I struggle with mindfulness because of my anxiety, but when I take pictures of where we are or what we’re doing, I can focus on the present and that helps me be more appreciative of what we have. Also, she’s just so freaking beautiful.

 

 

I’m sure there’s plenty more reasons I take pictures that I find it hard to just quit even when I go months without shooting but I’m most inspired by these three things. I can only hope that I’ll learn better time-management and working will stop being draining so I can edit and read more on photography when I have days off.

Thanks for reading!

Laurel May

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