I’ve been on the cusp of it so many times. I’ve certainly talked about it enough. As of today, it’s official. I sold all the rest of my gear, save for one point and shoot camera. I’ve been selling off the camera equipment I’ve amassed for a year now, but never had the courage to literally get rid of it all. Knowing I’d take a loss was part of the reason I’ve held onto it for so long, and instead of clearing things out, I kept adding more, trying desperately to make it all work for me.
I think it might sound ridiculous, but I have no other way to describe it. I truly felt like my gear was an anvil around my neck, dragging me down, keeping me from lifting my head to see and photograph the world around me. Too many tools, not enough vision. Too much time spent on acquisition, not enough time spent on creation. Once upon a time, I was passionate about photography. I had one camera and a 50mm lens, only I didn’t understand crop factors so had no idea for years that my nifty 50 was actually more like 80mm. I didn’t know, but I didn’t care. I just took photos. Gosh, I miss that.
Truth be told, I’m in serious danger of no longer photographing my own life in a meaningful way. I get stuck just choosing what camera and lens to use! My kids HATE having their pictures taken now. I’ve ruined them. I’ve been in need of a complete reset for such a long time, but never fully committed myself to it. Kind of like an alcoholic who keeps a bottle of whiskey in a drawer at work. It was time to pour it down the drain. No more contingencies.
And so, it’s all gone. The bodies, the lenses…all sold. And I feel so relieved. Now it’s just me, an iPhone, and my Ricoh GRII (“Squirt”). It shouldn’t take so much work to get back to where I was ten years ago, photographing for the love of it, instinctually, not over thinking everything.
I decluttered my house, my garage, my gear…maybe what I needed all along was to declutter myself. There was a tempest within, and now, in its place you’ll find a resolute calm. The kind that lets you breathe deeply and exhale fully. It’s exactly where I need to be.