Desolate year-ends and some reflections on my Photography Practice.
December has always been a sad month for me, for as long as I remember. As soon as the first cold wind of the season touches my nose, I am made aware of the impending emotional turmoil that I will be experiencing for the next few weeks. December has always been about sad songs, and farewells, and pain in the bones when it’s absolutely too cold outside. I also have had a tendency of binge eating during December and gain a lot of weight and feel even worse about myself.
Well, this is primarily a photography blog and the question you probably have in your mind is “Why am I reading about another person’s eating disorder?” Because I don’t want myself to create another “blog” which fights to get to the top of the search engine ranking just to attract traffic. I tried approaching this blog in that way, and I hated writing each word that I had previously written in this blog. It kept feeling like a chore. But it will still focus mainly on photography or other visual arts.
I am trying to make it like a ritual to travel alone atleast at the end of each year. With any luck, I’ll be able to continue with it. Even if I have to take care of other responsibilities while on the trip, I make it a point to take photos in bulk while I’m out traveling. This ritual is gradually changing my attitude towards December and year-ends.
2021 was a rough year, probably more than 2020. I had a huge number of positive experiences, but I think I still can’t imbibe them even on the second-last night of the year.
I started taking a huge amount of photos this year, I didn’t overthink (on most days) while I was making these frames – I was being in the moment, capturing whatever was in front of me, capturing whatever I was feeling at those moments. That improved my skills exponentially (as compared to earlier). I was able to let go of perfectionism to a certain extent. I connected to a whole group of talented and kind and supportive artists. I collaborated with other people. Have made really kind friends. Got a job. Survived the pandemic. But as I’m sitting here, and the temperature outside is 7°C, I still feel like a massive blob of failure.
I had very different plans for this year, for my personal life, for my photography. I wanted to intern a senior photographer but that didn’t happen. I was devastated. The whole path I had charted in my mind for my photography felt like it was being tossed away never to see the light of the day. Well, maybe that will never actually see the light of the day. But several events happened to me and through me which I had never imagined in my wildest dreams. I started refining my personal style in photography, on my own. I started finding other artists from the community who could give me a friendly nudge whenever I felt blocked.
I had big plans for this blog of mine as well, but I totally abandoned it. Maybe it was crippling perfectionism, writing, editing, adding photographs, coming up with new topics for a blog, worrying whether anyone would actually read anything I write here – all these thoughts kept me paralysed. But it’s time to let go of the perfectionism. I’ll keep writing here, and add whatever I have in my gallery at that given point.
Also, I’m going into 2022 without any expectations, without any checklists, or resolutions. I’ll try to be kind, both towards myself and towards others. I’ll keep stopping randomly in the middle of the road when I see a wild flower or an interesting shadow. I’ll keep clicking random photographs. I will also (most probably) write a lot here.
Lastly, here is a photograph of someone I’m trying to love a little more at the end of each year: