What Happened? Follow up to “Photographer’s Anxiety: Making Choices”
I realized this morning that I posted some of the photographs that I finally printed after my anxiety jag (see postings on August 18), but didn’t share how I actually got to those images.
Curious? Have been in the same situation yourself? Here’s a short recap, to the best of my recollection:
I did go make myself lunch. Food is always good for me, it’s grounding, makes me take a break, away from my brain. Also I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten anxious, depressed, tired, etc. and then after spending far too much time psycho-analyzing myself and trying to figure out why I’m feeling bad (what am I supposed to learn from this? what am I blocking? what is this issue? etc etc)….I realize that I haven’t eaten and 90% of the mental distress is because I haven’t eaten and my body’s out of balance. Hungry body = Heidi’s wacko brain, emotions out of balance.
I’m not suggesting food as the answer to all inner angst, of course…but sometimes the basics (healthy food, sleep, exercise, and yes…sex!) go a long way as a first line of healing.
OK, so I’m well fed and happier.
Went back to the computer to browse the images again. Decided that I wanted to print images from my Martha’s Vineyard trip, because I haven’t spent much time with them, it’s been almost 2 months now, I already started a blog that I posted very little to, and people keep asking me where my MV pictures are.
Plus some “icing on the cake” motivation is that I’d like to do some work in Martha’s Vineyard this fall or next spring/summer, things like retreats, workshops, Inner Path of Photography classes…and it would be nice to have something simple and visual to jazz up my project proposals and use in marketing.
Great, a decision has been made! Martha’s Vineyard it is.
But which images? I was there for 7 days, and have a folder for each day with about 100 images each. Here we go again.
So what did I do? I went with the energy, with my curiosity, with what turns me on.
As I browsed through the images, I realized that there were some that I thought I “should” print…because the woman I rented my cottage from would like to have those that I took of her place, because people who’ve never been to the Cape and Islands have never seen the type of houses/architecture that is there and I could show them that…on and on…all of the reasons to do what will make other people happy.
Yes, I would still like to do that. But as I mentioned before, I want to do fine art prints, and the images above felt like snapshots…I could print those out on my little HP printer in minutes, or throw them up onto a Google website, and people would be happy.
Some could eventually be printed as fine art prints…but they weren’t where my energy was drawn to, so I passed.
I’ve been very intrigued with beach photos in the past year, especially taking them at the end of the day in near darkness, or on rainy or foggy days. Remembered that I had some nice foggy shots, so went searching for them.
And finally found ones that felt good to look at, remember the experience, and want to express the magic, charm, joy, mysticism in them.
I’ve posted some of the results. Some rolled easily off the printer; others took more work at printing skills that I am learning.
I’ll post more as I work through them…
But the point I want to share here is that my decision making became clearer, and my anxiety decreased when I got in alignment with what personally gave me energy. Not what would give others energy, what I “should” print, or what was technically the best, most impressive image.
I followed my curiosity and willingness to be different. I printed what made me feel expansive. I allowed myself to re-engage with the feelings I had when I was shooting, and to celebrate the whole experience through feeling, printing, completing.
I also threw away my need for each image to be the ultimate shot. There were some images that I wasn’t sure I liked, that felt potentially “boring,” but that were still calling to me. I played with them anyway, realizing the gift of my photo group that evening: What better place to take images I was unsure of and see what others made of them? I basked in the enjoyment of printing what I loved, and in the richness of anticipating the group support and creative exchange.
So that’s my story. More angst and anxiety to come, I’m sure…but getting back in the flow was great…and I’m still riding the wave 🙂
P.S. Photo group was great…lots of discussion, interesting work by all, great camaraderie, pizza, and wine!