There’s an old expression; If something isn’t broken, please for the love of god, don’t fuck with it!
Or something like that.
This day and age sees us constantly trying to make things more convenient, more practical and easier to adapt to being “on the go”, whatever that means. Nothing, or so it seems, is looked after, maintained or even nurtured any more. If it’s broken it just gets replaced by something bigger that is allegedly better in ten thousand more ways than the last. Now I may not speak for everyone when saying this, but with the constant bombardment of ads becoming the norm, we have forgotten why we did/bought/used something in the first place.
The amount of information at our finger tips in the current day is absolutely mind boggling. It’s an incredible achievement, especially when we look back at the “super” computers of yesteryear or the nostalgic discs of Encarta 98. But I can’t help but feel it’s made us slightly complacent and lazy. At least me anyway.
There’s no more loading, dial up tone or even a dedicated room in the house. Just instant access in a matter of seconds. And most of the time, it’s right from our pocket.
This is a subject that I seem to keep coming back to a lot. The whole being online thing. Made slightly ironic as I’m sat using the same service that I’m about to criticise. But that last sentence in itself pin points the problem. When did being online stop being a service and become such a regular part of life?!
Don’t worry, I’m not here to criticise you or wax lyrical about the joys of leaving your phone at home. That would make me a hypocrite, as I regularly have my phone in my hand. This is just a tangent I hope to pull back into my regular “Oh I’m so profound and wise” style posts that are usually over zealously worded with those I’d never use in person whilst being drawn out and lacking in punctuation. I hope all you grammar nazis are now suitably enraged.
A lot of you who I speak to in person will know that I’ve been on a bit of a journey recently. What with a little one on the way and having attended The Dare Photography Experience in London. I can’t help but ask myself “why” more than ever now. Nothing is the same anymore. Every action must be questioned and if there’s a pattern to be found, guaranteed, I’ll already be looking for it or have found it.
I bring “online” up for this reason. Mainly with regards to social media, Instagram especially.
We are really spoiled in terms of being able to find stuff tailored to us in a matter of seconds nowadays. Though as helpful and useful as this can be, I can’t help but question whether or not it’s taking away from our ability to see reality. It’s as if we only really interact within our own self tailored echo chambers now, as opposed to the actual world we live in.
I say this due to falling into the Instagram trap of wanting to reach out to future couples and clients by showing them more of what they want to see. Though, after multiple nights of staring at a dark ceiling and questioning what the fuck it is I’m doing in life, I’ve realised that the whole “online” thing is a load of shit.
Yes you’d be correct in thinking that I take that view too often.
To stand out in the world, we have to be different. We have to remain committed to what we truly believe and be able to defend that when the majority challenge us. I feel as if social media and our echo chambers have diluted our confidence to be able to do so. Brexit is a fuckin excellent example of this. Instead of listening to people now, we tend to just shoot them down immediately and brandish them with all sorts of insults and slurs. There is no healthy discussion any more (as a majority at least) just hundreds and hundreds of voices all trying to shout louder than the other. Social media seems to have fuelled this. There’s no way people would act the same face to face. Quite frankly, it’s become fuckin barbaric.
I get that there is a lot to be angry about these days. But I can’t help but feel that we’re kinda missing the point and getting caught up in fighting with one another. What happened to being able to sit down and listen to opposing views and walk away with a better view on how that person reached their conclusion? You don’t have to agree with it. Not by any means. But just allow them the time to explain it. Rather than talking over them or looking for the flaws in what they believe. Basic understanding has been replaced by trying to publicly mock those who hold opposing views. We don’t learn when we feel threatened. We simply put our fingers in our ears and childishly repeat “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA”. Communication simply ceases to exist at that point. Then the whole discussion turns into a battle of who can shout the loudest and gather the biggest crowd to shout with them.
What happened to just being a good human? Showing good manners and knowing the basic principles of right & wrong?
We have become too quick to jump to conclusions without fully understanding something these days.
This is exactly why I write such bloody long winded blogs, to make sure I’m keeping your attention… Ironically.
Nothing can be taken on face value any more. Not for me anyhow. Everything needs to be given your full attention and almost studied. Because deep down, there is an alternative motive. It’s either selling you something, like photography (awkward), or trying to sway you to think one way or the other. Like this blog, trying to get everyone to slow down and chill the fuck out. They’re all just opinions. They’re free and yet we invest too much of ourselves into arguing against the out right daft ones.
For so long, we have been willingly lapping up content and not really paying attention to what it’s doing for us. Forgetting that phones and social platforms are merely tools to communicate with one another. Remain connected with those who have moved away. Talk to those overseas and even meet new people and talk like humans. Connect over common interests etc etc.
Like it used to be. Before this pull of “going viral” was ever a thing and phones were attached to the wall.
With my current mindset, I’ve had a huge reset. I fear my world was becoming too clogged with what I should be expected to do as opposed to what I want to do. My instagram feed was a classic example of this. Posting images of weddings in hopes of gaining more coverage and hopefully getting more work from it. Sadly it’s not that simple. And rightfully so.
For too long it felt as if I was drifting along, quite happily following the industry. Yet it never felt one hundred percent right for me. As if subconsciously my brain was telling me that I wasn’t being true to myself. Truth being told I wasn’t.
I started photography as an excuse to wander and just “have a look” at where ever the road took me. I adore being on the road. It’s my place to think. There is zero distraction when I’m in the back and beyond. Casually coasting along at 20mph whilst admiring the landscape and looking for stuff to go and have a nose over. Days like this are when I’m at my happiest. Made even more so if Abi is beside me. It instills a sense of calm and belonging within me.
So in terms of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fuck with it” I’m starting from fresh photography wise. With Christmas and a new year on the way, I’ll have a lot more time to focus on what I’ve been ignoring for so long. The stuff I really love. Though when wedding season hits, I’ll be looking to incorporate couples into this mix. Sharing road trips and good conversations. Slowing down. Really connecting and creating something that feels more connected to my true north.
Social media is a tool. One that I will use to guide people hear so they can hear my voice should they wish to. I’m done with trying to show work that fits a specific genre. My work is sporadic and I never want that to change. One minute I’m with couples, the next I’m hanging out of the sunroof of a micra shooting cyclists. I like the craziness of it all. I like the freedom. I just like being behind a camera.
I’ve come under a lot of fire recently for the way I approach my passion. A lot of it has mostly been from a good place though a few snide remarks have crept through. Each bit of advice/judgement has only made me feel stronger that where I stand is where I need to remain. The original track. It wasn’t broken and I fucked with it. So in turn I feel like I’ve not really done as well as I could’ve this year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining by any means. I’ve learned so much from it and met some incredible people along the way. It’s just now I’ve found my focus.
I know I keep harping on about “the right path” & “focus”, but recent blogs have just been about finding it. Now I have it. Now I’m ready to start showing you what I’m doing with it!
There will always be two camps who believe that they are right and the others are wrong, especially online. From the wise to the ignorant, they will always insist that you do something a certain way. Fuck that shit. Listen to your heart & ignore what they are filling your head with. Only take what you want from it.
Find something you love and nurture it. Only do what makes your heart beat that little bit harder. Then Look after it and don’t, for fucks sake, don’t try and mess with it.
Keep it simple.
Keep it honest.
And try your hardest not to be a fuckwit.
It really means a lot to me , the fact that you’ve endured unfiltered brain spew to this point.
Below are a few of my favourite images from a recent wander. They take me to a good place.