Time for a change - Part 4

I've just written a reply to a comment on the above post on Google+. When I finished it and pressed send I realised that I'd just written todays article! And here it is.

I'm still as keen as ever to get out and take photographs, the problem is that the whole way I'm doing things at the moment takes up too much of my non-photographic time (such as it is!). There are other things I would like to do and the constant editing etc. makes that impossible.

The obvious answer is take less pictures, which I've started to do already and one of the ways to help that is to cut my gear to the bare minimum, which I'm in the process of doing.

All this is most likely because of the fact that I make my living from what I love doing. This seems to make rational thought almost impossible! So that constant dilemma of what I want to do, as opposed to what makes the most commercial sense is always there. This is something that I've had a real difficulty in reconciling over the past few years and consequently have ended up with lots of unused gear which covers both options.

What has changed now is that I've come to the conclusion that life is too short to put up with this constant dithering. I know what I want to do and have always known that, so I've decided to go with it. I'm in the process of radical (and I do mean radical!) change to what I use. My ebay account currently looks like a camera store as everything is up for sale.

Essentially, when this all gets finished, I'll be going back to something I've used before and making the whole thing simpler and much more focused.

The nature of Stock Photography means that there is a certain amount of "Jack of all trades" etc. and while I enjoy that, its once again a situation of doing what I think I should, as opposed to what I really want to do.

There is also the situation that for the last 10 years or so, I've been working long hours making sure I have a wide range of material on the maximum number of websites and this will certainly give me a "cushion" to be able to go with my instincts rather than just work towards shooting what I know will sell. To a certain extent, I'm repeating myself anyway. Add in the fact that I have a huge source of material sitting in transparency sleeves, which is proving incredibly succesful in terms of sales, and what I'm doing isn't really any kind of a risk. In fact, it would probably be my best option to stop shooting new stuff altogether and just concentrate on scanning. However, I still love creating photographs, so thats not an option.

What has really brought all this to a head is that recently I have "freed" myself from self-imposed constraints and started to shoot a lot more instinctively. This has consequently brought to my attention just what I've been stopping myself doing. A disciplined approach is certainly good when making your way into stock photography, but I've got more than enough material anyway. This should allow me to experiment more and take more risks in terms of what I shoot, how I shoot and what I shoot with. Essentially I want to return to how I felt when I first started taking pictures seriously, when what I saw with my eyes ruled when I pressed the shutter. That has not gone away, but has certainly been tempered with commercial consideration.

Things were brought into focus for me when Ann told me about a fun local event. My reply was along the lines of "Sounds great, but I probably won't be able to sell the pictures". I then, of course, realised exactly what I was saying and decided that things had to change. And so they have."
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