Sometimes when I look over my work I get nervous. I start to look deeper and I can pick up a recurring theme and style – warm light, saturated colors, an obsession with change and memory – but then I look at how the work is made and I get, well nervous. I can’t seem to fit my work into one category, it’s “environmental portraiture,” it’s “staged narrative,” it’s in between. There’s something scary about the in-between, when you realize you don’t just fit into a category. It almost begs an explanation of why you chose to do it that way and it’s difficult to not get dragged down into explaining. I came across this essay by Paul Graham and it’s so well written and comforting, especially when you start to wonder why you’re doing something. The link is on the bottom and a section from “Photography is Easy, Photography is Difficult,” is copied below:
And hopefully I will carry on, and develop it, because it is worthwhile. Carry on because it matters when other things don’t seem to matter so much: the money job, the editorial assignment, the fashion shoot. Then one day it will be complete enough to believe it is finished. Made. Existing. Done. And in its own way: a contribution, and all that effort and frustration and time and money will fall away. It was worth it, because it is something real, that didn’t exist before you made it exist: a sentient work of art and power and sensitivity, that speaks of this world and your fellow human beings place within it. Isn’t that beautiful?