I wonder how many of your know that I am a poet. Well, to put it more accurately: I sometimes write poems. I might go a year with no poems appearing, and, then, as has happened recently, I will write one a day for several days in a row.
Anyway, a couple of days ago I was reflecting in my journal (yes, I keep a journal too, and have been for over 35 years, again with the occasional break) on one of these recent masterpieces, and I found myself writing that I was really quite pleased with the poem and how I expressed some real feelings in the piece and that it contained some really nice images (of the wordy variety that is).
I stopped writing at that point to think about it a bit more. Then I started writing again. Here’s what I wrote:
I’m really struggling to come to a point where I do all my creative work and especially my photography simply because it is what I want to do, and to let go of any expectations of it being liked by anyone else or commented on or whatever. I am trying to realise that my role is to create and to share. That is all
Then I stopped again. After a few moments, I wrote in bigger letters and in the middle of the page:
Create and share that which has been created
Okay, it’s not a new idea, this do your art because it’s what you want to do and don’t worry about the reactions of others. I’m sure you’ve read the same thing on other blogs, but it’s an idea worth talking about again; it’s a kind of reminder to self (and maybe to others?) that it is why one does something that matters most. Although of course, being human it’s always nice when people approve of what one does. I guess it’s about not worrying overly much about what other people think. It’s about not thinking about what’s popular, what sells, what gets the most “Likes” and the rest.
So, that’s what I am trying to do in my work as a street and social documentary photographer: make the photos I want, for the reasons I want to make them. I always aspire to make my photos the best I possibly can, just as I always try to have the best possible reasons or motives for making them. In a sense, once I have done my best to send them out into the world, I have no control over what impact (or lack of impact) my photos have. Same goes for this blog or anything else I do.
Anyway, I am glad my sub-conscious presented me with a new mantra as I wrote in my journal:
Create and share that which has been created.
Photo is titled: Hello My Darling (Melbourne Australia December 2012)