Visual overload

I don’t feel the energy to take pictures. Or is it laziness? I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and never could nail it. I love photography, I want to shoot or rather I would like to do it but instead I’m just doing other things. Podcasting, streaming, board gaming, reading etc but not shooting pictures.

Does it mean I’m burnt out or just my dedication and love for photography were not true? Why don’t I feel that tinkling every time I think about developing film or scanning it? What’s wrong?

Well, probably the simplest answer would be stress or life. Working shifts, family and just all other hobbies I mentioned above, all these can and did eat away time and more importantly energy to do photography. When life demands you to work hard head down taking pictures feels like luxury. Yeah, maybe this makes some sense from a certain point of view, but at the same time it feels like an excuse.

As if everybody else’s life is milk and honey and they have so much time to spare they don’t know what to do with it. No, all the life circumstances being true, it can’t be why I don’t prioritize photography above other activities.

Then there’s a fresh thought. Visual overload. Recently I complained about ads and how they ruined my time with Instagram, but after that I have almost stopped checking it or almost any photo oriented social media including my WordPress feed. I just don’t feel like looking at pictures any more, instead I’ll go and read an article. And I thought maybe it’s because I oversaturated myself with visual information and constant narrative around taking pictures, and all the podcasts about photography, and then there was some sort of anxiety from updating my website. At some point I guess my brain just had enough of this and needed a break.

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this rant at this point, thank you if you are, but I just felt I needed to put all this into words. For a long time I thought I’m just lazy but then I thought maybe I’m running away from the truth. I’m confused really. I refuse to admit the death of my photography because it is simply not true. I feel stressed by these thoughts and anxious that I don’t have any answers. What do I do now? Do I simply wait or should I come up with a self therapeutic plan of slowly getting back on track? How do I do this?

3 Replies

  • Everyone needs a break sometimes. When I go through periods like this I just honor it.

    At some point I want to make photographs again. But the muscle will feel like it’s atrophied. Only thing to do then is just to do it.

    • Jim, thank you for your support! I guess my anxiety comes more from a question if it will end at some point than just from the fact I have hard time shooting. It’s been literally a couple of months since I developed a roll, so I’m afraid if this means the death of my photography journey. I hope my social media hermitage of sorts will help me slowly get back in. Maybe I need to cut off any external pressure, will see.

      • If you still want to be a man who takes photographs, then all you can do is get out and take them even if you’re not feeling it.

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