This semester is a bit of a departure from last spring in that I am teaching intro to (primarily digital) photography instead of intro to B&W darkroom. However, much like last semester, teaching seems to be the one thing that is helping me keep my head slightly above water. I’ve come to rely on the excitement of my students (you know the excitement I’m talking about – the excitement you feel when you first realize what a camera can actually do, and how much everything changes when you discover photography) to help me keep my enthusiasm about my own work.
As most of you know by now, I’ve been feeling slightly lost with my own photography the past few months, and I’m not even going to pretend that I am about to figure things out. This is the most intense dry spell I have experienced during my time as a photographer, and it is completely terrifying at times. The fear of what is next after grad school can be paralyzing, and I constantly have to remind myself to let go and to jump with absolute faith that something will work out, because it always does. I always find a way to keep making images, and I always manage to find work.
One thing I always tell my students is to overshoot – to take “too many” photos and to try “too many” different things. I’m trying to take my own advice these days! I feel like I am dangerously close to losing touch with my medium, so I am now forcing myself to make something new every day, even if it is just an iPhone shot/processed image, and to write a few sentences in my journal. For a couple of years, I was wrapped up in my 365s, which, at the time seemed grueling, but I miss that structure – the make-something-every-day routine. I am hoping that this phase of having to force myself to make something daily will soon give way to my old routine of making things without too much effort.