I never considered myself a particularly creative person. I don’t paint or draw. I don’t have a vivid imagination. I’m a good writer, but more of an expository one. I wrote photography tutorials for photography based businesses for years. Photography has always been sort of a half creative, half technical thing for me. Yes, there’s an element of vision involved, but it’s also a lot about exact parameters. ISO, shutter speed, aperture – there are rules to follow and I’m really good at following rules. For a long time, I’ve called myself a left-brained creative.
Now that I no longer do photography professionally, I’ve been working on finding the balance of photographing things just for me. I don’t have an Instagram, Facebook or any other social media. I know my work isn’t for the masses – it’s for me and my family. It’s for us to look back on and remember.
For a long time, I wanted to be noticed and recognized for my work. (Don’t we all?) But the truth is that only a handful of photographers in a generation will ever become a household name. Probably less than that even. My photographs have been nationally published multiple times. I’ve had my name in print in magazines and newspapers. I think that’s really the height of what I could’ve hoped to achieve.
So, where does that leave me now? As I’ve been pouring over my older pictures and trying to figure out what it was that gave me vision and spurred my creativity back then, I’ve bought and sold gear extensively over the past year, trying to find the tools that most inspire me to shoot. I’ve chronicled my usage of various cameras and lenses throughout.
What I’ve discovered after nearly a year and a half of experimentation with five different cameras and eight different lenses (not to mention all the gear that came before) is that there is no specific camera, lens, or combination thereof that inspires me to shoot. Rather, I have always been the most creative when I was limited to only one. One camera. One lens. No choices.
Clearly, I don’t have the discipline to limit myself when I have a drawer full of gear. Indecision is my biggest creative weakness. Now that I’ve identified this about myself, what am I going to do about it? Where does this leave me now? Well, let’s just say that MPB is about to have several new offerings…
And I’m going to have a much easier time deciding which camera to bring with me.