I’m going to be honest with you because I feel like the Internet can be a very dishonest place, or at least a very distorted place. Not intentionally, no, but many things are glamorized, which makes it hard not to think that everyone has a perfectly successful life aside from you. I’m going to be honest because I’ve been told so many times before to not talk about this, maybe it’ll look bad to clients and you won’t get hired, or yada yada yada. But honestly, this is me.
I’m a starving photographer that has to work every second of the day to be able to afford to eat. On a good day my blog gets like 30 hits. I try and take pretty pictures but I’m telling you, out of the 400 photos I’ll take on that one photo hike, there’s like 9 of them, tops, that are any good. I literally take thousands of photos that look terrible. I only post the ones that are good. This past year was filled with so many adventures and I feel very blessed for all the opportunities I received. But please don’t think I live a glamorous life. Please don’t think I am better than you, or that my work is better than your own, or that my life is more glamorous than your own, or that I'm a higher up photographer than you. I'm not. I'm just me. I show you the parts I feel okay with showing you. My online life is exactly like my portfolio, I show the good bits, the successful bits, but that doesn’t mean it’s all great. There are good days and bad days, just like I take good photos and bad photos. I say this only so that you don’t compare yourself to me. I say this because I don’t want you to ever look at my online presence and think my life is more exciting than your own.
I say this because I am constantly comparing my life to others on the Internet and it makes me feel like absolute shit.
I say this because I don’t want you to do the same things I’m doing. I want you to do you. I want you to focus on your work, your voice, your desires, your passions, and not mine.
The Internet is amazing because it gives people a voice. “Finding my voice” is probably my greatest struggle. It’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life, and I’m sure it’s something I’ll continue to struggle with. I’m an introvert and have blamed my “feeling like I have no voice” on that. It’s hard to have a voice when your voice is literally (physically!), very quiet. I couldn’t yell if I tried. I don’t even know if I know how to yell. And so the Internet makes me feel good because I don’t have to yell, I don’t even have to speak, I just get to type. Verbal communication is not my strong point and so through typing I feel I can properly express myself. I suppose through photography I feel the same.
The thing is, we all want voices. We all want to be heard. We all have opinions and things we want to say and share, and the Internet is filled with just that. But the Internet is also filtered. We leave only tidbits of information for others to see. The pieces of information we give are what people then take and make our life out of. I remember many years ago a guy once emailed me and asked me why I was so depressed. I was puzzled, and it took me a few days to write back. I was not depressed in the slightest. I wrote back asking him why he thought that, and he said to me it was because everything I wrote about was always so sad. I laughed, because in reality I wasn’t sad at all. But I realized the sad moments were the only ones I ever felt like writing about and posting about. On the Internet, I seemed really sad.
Fast forward to just this last year and a friend messaged me on Twitter. He told me that I sounded so happy, free and alive. Again, I was puzzled, because at the time I was going through a more difficult time of my life, and yet here I sounded like my life was amazing. But it was him saying that, saying that I seemed so happy, free and alive that made me realize that I actually was so happy, felt so free, and felt more alive than I ever had in my entire life.
I don’t know if many read my words. I don’t write for that reason. I write because writing makes me feel alive. Writing helps me process. Writing is my therapy. And I write sappy things like this because I’m a photographer, and I know that an image can speak a thousand words. Despite a pretty picture, I don’t want you to glamorize my life. I want you to focus on your life. I want you to look at all your accomplishments. I want you to look at your own desires. I want you to stop looking at what everyone else is doing and start looking at what you’re doing, because, as much as the Internet inspires, sometimes we look at it and we glamorize it and we forget that our own life and the things we are doing are equally as important.
You’re doing a really great job. Please don’t forget that.