Writing a blog, as a photographer, is in effect an act of subterfuge. A sleight of hand, if you will, designed to make each photographer seem knowledgeable, active, wanted – and working – even when they’re not
Okay, especially when they’re not.
As a photographer you have to appear to be in demand. It’s, let’s just say, the balancing act of making your dance card look full whilst also creating a sense of availability at the same time by ‘showing a bit of leg’ to any possible suitor – I mean client.
Yet, a blog of course, is also a place to vent one’s spleen via the bitch and moan doctrine that stems from photography being the hardest game in the world. Oh and if any Third World miners are reading this you better believe that buddy – the hardest God dammed game in the world.
Incidentally, the last paragraph should have been read in the style of a gritty American voice over. I wrote that once on a blog post a few years ago, no, not about the voice over, about photography being the hardest game in the world – again also just as a joke – and let’s just say that if I lived in a town worth being run out of town of.... I would have been run out of it.
So, let’s recap.
Blogs written by photographers are mainly a mix of A) vanity, B) ceaseless and unabashed self-promotion (mainly to other photographers who are never going to buy what they’re selling) and finally C) sweat tinged desperation.
So why do I write a blog? *Sprays on 24 hour sweat protection deodorant...over sweat tinged desperation*
Writing a blog for me is therapy.
I like writing – I’m not saying that it’s something I’m good at – *cut to a ‘real’ writer rolling their eyes and bemoaning the fact that every sorry-assed mo-fo thinks that they’re a writer*. Regardless, I just find the process cathartic – even if my grammar sucks – and I engage in rambling discussions which go on and on before taking a 90 degree turn and then abruptly ending - stay tuned. I just like the idea that I can sit on my ass and do it without having to lug around a heavy photo backpack and tripod.
I like the fact too that I don’t have to ask permission or arrange to meet people who let me down or pretend to like or care about people who I sometimes don’t. I can just write.
But who is it for?
Writing a blog is a therapeutic conversation with myself, and whilst I post it on my website and promote it via my social networks I never imagine that anyone will ever read it – or even care if they do – no offence to anyone who is though.
So, what’s the purpose of this particular post?
Well, someone recently asked me why I write a blog and at the time I wasn’t really sure why so I decided to have a conversation with myself *knowing wink* – yes, that’s right, via the praxis of writing - to work out why and et voilà!
I write because I can. I don’t care if people like it or validate it with degrees of quality or whether people who can write roll their eyes – again, I do it because I can and because I lose myself in it if only for the moment.
(90 Degrees turn....now!)
By the same token I’ve met so many photographers, via Some Cities, who take photographs just as I write - as way of a conversation with themselves. They don’t take them for anyone else or even care what other people think - and that’s not a bad thing.
Even up to a few days ago though perhaps I would have thought differently; a few days ago these photographers would have made my blood boil. What are they doing, I would have thought to myself, why are they wasting their time taking these images? Why are they taking yet another photograph of the library or of Selfridges?
What are they trying to say?
Do they even know?
Well, that’s what I would have pondered back then.
Ultimately, though, they make these photographs for the same reason I write - as way of a conversation with themselves - and, quite frankly, because they can. They make them because like a soma that gives them contentment the process of making far outweighs the product of repetition.
Art is always a conversation with oneself made visible to others and if anything can be considered to be art therefore every ‘conversation with ourselves’ should be seen as valid and every new photograph of the library meaningful - if only to the person who took it – because it has taken them on a cathartic journey into themselves – and that is all that matters.
This is Andrew Jackson and I endorse this rambling blog post.
Image (C) Photoeverywhere - used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License