Being real.

I have read on a few people's blogs how they thought their blogging was getting to be a surface thing, just sharing pretty pictures and not as much that is real to them, the good, bad and ugly of real emotions and real life. And I've kind of agreed. Though I know it is for various reasons, I try not to get into much on here. Try not to freak people out, like my family who read this. But I do think it's a good thing to share what is real, and for me that is being an emotional person. Among other things. So, being real. I'll start with this...

I'm quitting portrait photography


well, not entirely across the board, but photo shoots

i hate the emotional rollercoaster

how i can't not take it personally

even tho i don't always understand why that is

i hate being so happy with a photo, because i think it is a great photo, but it is of someone else or someone else's kid or belly or baby. But those people don't necessarily APPRECIATE that. Or the fact that other photographers would charge hundreds more dollars just for the photo shoot, let-alone the photos themselves. And I hate that criticism, implied or explicit, and dissatisfaction, questioning the value I place on my work, I hate that it all hits me. And hurts me.

EVEN THOUGH I still believe the work is good. It makes me doubt that I as a person am any good. And I KNOW that is my problem but it is also MY decision. That is the way I respond - emotionally, not logically - and I have to learn to take that into account. in as much as it is in my power to reasonably remove the source of the angst, I should take that action to preserve myself, my emotional wellbeing, my innate need to tie the work I produce with my own creative value.

And it annoys me that I spend hours getting the best out of these photos for other people, when photos of my own children go unseen, un-edited or printed or looked at. Because I am busy with photos of other people FOR other people who don't necessarily understand what I see. So I want to save what I see and what I do for the person who understands it - myself. And my true friends and family.

It annoys me the way I call myself an artist (at least, sometimes) but the truth is I've sold a lot more photos than art in my life. But being called a photographer places these weird expectations like you are a business now and not a person, therefore it's not personal. To me, if I've made it or done it or written it or taken it, it is always personal.

It might be just perception, it might be my problem, but it is my life and my head and my heart so that is just and true. And my decision is

no more photography. Not for other people. Not right now.

My plan now is to work through my backlog of photos for friends and family. That stuff is for me as well as for them, so it's ok with me. Once that is up to date, I will just go with the flow and do what I want to do with it. Take photos of these kidlets I have around me every day. Find joy in it. Share joy. Relax.

And Marissa, of course I will still photograph your wedding, if you still want me. You're family :)

OK now back to our regular programming...


Diane said...

I'm hearin' ya sister!
Maybe 'life artist' works for photographer as well as for scrapbooker.
Enjoy your art - wherever it takes you.

Peta said...

i hope you find your "happy place" somewhere in the middle Dq.... keep smiling and creating :)

Anonymous said...

thanks dQ for being so open and honest - and don't apologize for that ever - please!!!

Anonymous said...

Dani, Of course I still want you to Photograph our wedding, BUT only if you are up for it.... your wellbeing is way more important.
It's in October next year, and no matter what you'll be invited... you are family!

KreativeKelly said...

I've always admired your openness and honesty. Do what you need to do to stay true to you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Danielle.... WOW! what a shock, but I totally know and understand what you are talking about.... I think Ashan has the same ups and downs... being judged and told what is "wrong & right" with your photos.... when they are YOUR photos can be hard - and i tell ya.... ashan is at his final year doing his course and OMG it has been a rollercoaster, not just for him but for me as well! I really hope that I will one day be able to get you to do some pics for US again ;) I LOVE checking out your photos and LOVE YOUR STYLE! Have fun editing your family/friends pics - you must have LOADS to get through!

Take Care
Love Charmane

Kerry said...

I've only just seen your work, through some pics you took of a friend. I love that you capture the beauty and purity in your shots. I understand your desicion to take a break, and hope that you can once again experience the joy and true appreciation that you deserve from such beautiful work.

Stay true to yourself, your own inner peace is what counts in the end.

Lea said...

hi Danielle, I lurk your blog frequently. I am so inspired and in awe of both your art and your photography and sometimes I hop by JUST to see your blog header-weird I know but I love it! So I have nominated you on my blog for an award. No pressure here but I just wanted you to know how much I admire your creations.

mich said...

Danielle, I am a lurker. I just wanted to let you know that I admire your photos and how you treat them. Everytime I see them, I tell myself I want photos like these! You are a fantastic artist. Believe that and believe in yourself. People who do not know how to appreciate art or beauty, are not worth your time and misery. Be true to yourself. {{HUGS}}

mezzo mish said...

What can I say that hasn't been said already? I hope that you now enjoy your photography and your art so much more, and remember Change can be so Good! Luv mish

vita said...

Sometimes people can be very particular. They also feel that it's theiir right to critisize because they paid. I understand it can be exhausting & upsetting. Just take a break, Dan. Find something else that you enjoy doing. You have great talent & if you choose not to put up with it anymore, then so be it. You can be choosy, it's your life & your work.
From where I'm standng you did so well. You give this business thing a try & you did it. If this is how it's going to end for now, then it's cool. You're still awesome.

Anonymous said...

Wow... What beautiful friends and comments Dan. makes me so proud to have u as a SISTER :)

kelstar said...

I've always admired your openness and honesty. Do what you need to do to stay true to you!!!!