And happy birthday to me!
Whenever someone has a birthday I always ask them “What did you learn in the last year that you didn’t know before?” It’s an interesting question, something that everyone answers differently. It also gives you the chance to think about what has happened in the past year and take stock.
What did I learn this year? Good question. I think I learned the power of persistence. Sometimes just hanging in there longer than anyone else thought you would sets you apart. In my work I think I have finally learned how to slow down. Rather than take a photograph of what I think I know I take more time to try to understand what I see, asking myself the two eternal questions: “What am I taking a photograph of? and “Why am I taking this photograph?” It is a much more uncertain way of working but for me also a much more rewarding one.
Finally I think I’ve also learned, or perhaps relearned, to trust in myself and my instincts. For a photographer trusting your vision, especially when no one else believes in it, is the hardest thing to do. But I see where I started and where I am at and where I am headed and it all makes sense to me even if to no one else. At this point in my life that is enough. I am doing what I want, how I want where and when I want.
Who could ask for anything more?