Spring of 2013. One: I was naturally drawn to documentary style portraiture among other styles. Two: My new Canon DSLR was fitting nicely to my style. Three: I was — and still am — drawn to a wider format 28mm lens over longer lenses. The trajectory of these three points inevitably led me to street photography.
There was one problem — I live in a sleepy little town. Trying to do street photography here was like trying to go scuba-diving in Arizona. I was frustrated with the lack of opportunity and I really started envying the photographers who lived in busier cities.
My list of envy continues to grow as I have grown as a photographer. I envy Clyde Butcher’s tremendous printing skills. I certainly envy Eric Kim’s eye for street photos. I envy Guy Tal’s access to the wilderness. I envy pretty much every photographer who lives in the Pacific North West, canyon country or Maine.
Envy in the business of amateur and professional photography is nothing new. We envy gear. We envy studios. We envy diverse portfolios of other photographers. Social media catalizes envy. Jens Lennartsson talks about this implacable envy in this blog post on Cardboard Creators.
Envy is a fixed-mindset. It does not give us room to grow and learn. Jens appeals us to use gratitude instead to get past the envy — gratitude in one’s abilities, bring focus away from shortcomings. Only once we have grounded in ourselves can we learn and grow. This is the challenge: gain insight to my own envy and direct my attention towards gratitude instead.
Through the last five years I have dabbled in projects other than street photography. Even though I feel gravitated towards this genre, I am learning to be flexible. I am starting a portrait project that is too early to define with words. I am grateful I have the time and money to do this project, and I am grateful I have friends and family who are willing to indulge me.
More to come.