2017 – The Year I Stopped Caring

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These past few years, I have written a year end wrap up and new year preview.  I laid out plans for success for Generator Photography.  Because if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.  It was all about setting out goals to strive for. Solid, verifiable goals.  As you know, dreams can inspire you, but goals can change your life. Goals are all about action. Goals turn dreams into reality.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

2017 is the year I stopped caring.  By focusing on these solid, verifiable goals, I have tried to turn this, my photography, into something I believe it was never meant to be.  I came to see “success” strictly in terms of money, marketing and financial sustainability.  Who doesn’t want to earn a living doing what they love?  It’s an enticing goal, and full of allure.  But it’s not me.

I’ve talked before about how my mother wanted me to become a CPA.  I think I would have been a great CPA.  I would have had a big income, a well funded retirement plan, profitable business connections, and I’m pretty sure I would have hated my life.

2017 is the year I stopped caring about trying to make this a career.  Please understand, I’m not giving up trying to get paid gigs.  Quite the opposite, the more I get into off-camera lighting and portrait photography, and as I get better at these marketable skills, I think I have a real chance of earning income.  Just, not enough income.  That used to bother me.  I wasn’t working hard enough, hustling enough, marketing myself enough.  Don’t let your dreams be dreams.  Just do it!

Pass.  I’m doing this for me. To fulfill my creative goals, not pay off my financial obligations. I am following my vision, and I’ve decided that that is enough.  I’d tired of looking at myself as failing every goal.  This year, I’ve stopped caring.

2017 is also the year I stopped caring about constantly generating content.  I have spent many years shooting for the sake of shooting.  Which was great, by the way, not a mistake at all.  This is how you get good, you practice all the time, you work at it daily.  But some of that wasn’t just practice.  I put pressure on myself to develop my brand, to constantly generate content, and to have my sites never be stale.  I’m done with this.  If I go a few days without posting a photo, maybe Generator Photography won’t come grinding to a halt.  We’ll have to wait and see.

2017 is the year I stopped caring about camera gear.  My desire to get a really good zoom lens to replace my prime lenses tell you that I have stopped caring about bleeding edge sharpness and moved to caring more about what the picture says, rather than how sharp it looks.  I’ve come to believe I need to be able to capture a moment with passion and emotion, rather than with only dry, sterile technical skill.

Full confession, I may have mislead you on that last point.  I’m still interested in gear, but it’s all about lighting gear these days.  I’ve traded reading lens reviews to brushing up on off-camera lighting techniques.  I’m still buying year, but it’s new Yongnuo flashes and triggers, 48″ Octoboxes and reflectors.  And stands.  So many stands.  I still don’t have enough stands.

In short, 2017 is the year I stopped caring about where I think I should go.  And started to simply enjoy the journey.

Get in, hang on, it’s going to be a great ride.

Who’s with me?

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3 thoughts on “2017 – The Year I Stopped Caring

  1. My father was a physician…an excellent one, at that. He also refurbished antique wooden boats. He LOVED the latter and spent all his non-professional time doing it. And he was REALLY good at it. I asked him once in passing, “Why not retire from medicine and do refurbish boats full time? There’s a load of profit potential.” He sagely said that when you turn your hobby into a profession, you risk losing the love. When ‘want to’ becomes ‘have to’, you can cease to love it.

    Not saying that’s what happened to you, but I suspect there’s a component. There is no doubt that doing this as a vocation is much different than as a hobby. The pressures change and so does the desire to shoot when not working. So do what you are doing…take a step back. Re-discover the passion. Maybe there will be a time when this can be a full-time gig for you…but maybe not. In the meantime, enjoy what you’re doing. As always, if you need help or advice, don’t hesitate to reach out.

  2. Pingback: I Was Thinking About Giving Up Photography. Altogether. | Generator Photography

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