Northport, Alabama

This is sort of different from my usual style, but I think it is good to break away from self-imposed parameters sometimes. When I first started this website, I NEVER shot anything that I didn’t think would or could be published somewhere. Everything I did was tied to its potential to earn a byline. Ever the egotist, always wanting that token of approval to gauge my self-worth.

I had forgotten that photography can, and should, be about pleasure. It is supposed to be fun. It doesn’t always have to have a point. So these days, if something strikes my fancy and makes me stop for a minute, I try to listen to that voice, to shoot the image anyway even as my inner critic says it’s stupid. Sometimes it ends up paying off.

Remember the “Angry Chair” picture from a few weeks ago? Someone from the paper saw it on my website and selected it to enter in a contest for the photo to run on the last page of the paper’s spring magazine. The “Angry Chair” was a departure from my usual style, but it ended up winning the contest. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it wasn’t my choice to make. The paper will pay my standard fee for its use as well as a $50 bonus. A year ago, I would not have even stopped. It wouldn’t have caught my interest.

Something in my head is changing, and I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m becoming more versatile as a photographer. I’m shooting more, but taking it less seriously, having more fun with it. I’m not as hung up on success. I’m not crucifying myself as much for failures. I finally understand that I will ALWAYS be a photographer, even if I never publish another image, always be a writer even if I never write another word. It is a way of life, a way of perceiving the world, a quickening of the blood at just the right slant of light, just the right turn of phrase.

It is what makes me who I am. Not six points of Helvetica. Not a number in the bank. And definitely not a blind adherance to a self-imposed set of rules that stopped working a long time ago.

Music of the day: The A Mix: Heaven by Los Lonely Boys, Not Coming Home by Incubus, Billy Yards Remix by Alec Long, Falling for the First time by Barenaked Ladies, Let Go by Frou Frou, Summer Romance by Incubus, Even After All by Finley Quaye, Sunday Morning by Incubus, Scratch that Itch by Alec Long, Pardon Me by Incubus, Slap Happy Remix by Alec Long.

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