Here is the thing.
As we become adults we are expected to follow a particular career path. Meet certain people, do certain things and generally, tread the worn path.
In between, if you want to change directions, it is sort of like trying to reverse in the middle of the day on a really busy road. Everyone starts honking at you and there is a bit of a panicky feeling as you try to push your car into the right gear to get moving. But there is a process in that – you need to press the clutch, move the gear into reverse and slowly, without stalling, move back and repeat the whole process again to get moving. During this time, everyone starts honking, regardless of if they are affected or not.
And if you are weak-hearted, maybe you just say screw it and go the normal way, hoping there is a U-turn somewhere up ahead or an easier spot. But what we forget is that there is never an easy spot or a place to turn around because it is peak hour traffic. It is now or never, every single moment of the day.
Right now, this is what I’m trying to do… change directions. I’m not sure which direction I want to pick in particular – reverse, right turn, left turn… it is all up in the air. But I want to try a different road.
And the honking is freaking the shit out of me.
A while ago, I wrote a post ‘Why Photography’. Today, I had to go back and read that post because it is an incredible feeling of amnesia that I am facing.
Here’s a short history of recent times.
I quit my job. It was a combination of accidents and I figured it was as good a time to get out and start doing something for myself. I have always wanted to experiment with photography for a while, and I figured this was a good time to start doing that.
But what I didn’t count on was the lack of savings (or almost) and the lack of a plan, and people giving me openings for other jobs. As God is a slightly contradictory person sometimes, I even got these jobs that I had applied for. And these jobs would’ve been the ideal, the perfect thing for me about a year ago. But since then, much has changed and I am not sure if I have the patience for those dreams anymore.
But it is human nature not to be able to let go that easily. The lure of good money, a good company and a good place is incredibly hard to let go. I actually stayed up at night, wondering if I should really take up this job. And then I would look at my camera and how alive I felt when I was shooting a recent event. And figured, nope, I want to give photography a chance.
The question remains – how long is a ‘chance’. A week? A month? A year? And if it does not work out, what then?
The answer is also – that is a risk you have to take. (I can argue both sides of the argument really well, and I feel like putting a bullet to my head).
I’m trying hard to come up with answers to various questions – such as why photography, what is the future, what I do really want to be and trying to keep the images from the former dreams out of my mind.
Kevin Carter has been an incredible inspiration to my photography. His one single photograph of the child and the vulture touched my immensely and I strive to take such photos. Much of my photography leans towards the dark and I try to pull it towards the light when I see images of others – the bright, ethereal images that are photoshopped to an extent.
But to be Carter, I would need to be involved with news again. Hard news. Which I want to. Just not right now. I have pick to the road to travel on RIGHT NOW. And I don’t have the answers to all the questions. And I know that I will perhaps never have all those answers.
Wait… let’s start over again.
Why photography? What is the future? What do I want to be? What do I want to do?
I want to take photos. Of people. Of moments. Of places. In a nice way. I am just beginning to explore my photographic horizons in a serious manner and I have no idea about my style, idealogy or anything else. Yet. I like taking photographs and I would like to be paid for it. I’m sure that isn’t an intellectual answer but that is all I have right now.
The future – is dark and invisible. I don’t know where I will be and what I want to do. I do know I want to travel. Capture Cambodia, Istanbul, Nepal, Budapest, Andamans, Nagaland and wherever else on film. I still want to be able to do weddings and all that.
What do I want to be? Here’s the problem. I know I can probably survive doing photography… earn enough to feed myself and all that. But I want to be the best. That thing hasn’t changed in me. I want to be the best in whatever I pick to do. And that’s where I wonder if I am good enough.
What do I want to do? Freelance… photography… write interesting articles and keep the variety alive. I would love to work for a magazine but that would restrict some of what I could write. True, freelancing restricts a lot of other things.
But maybe I should give it a shot, right? 3 months of what is supposed to be my life.
I do not have that many contacts in photography. I do not know where to start or how. But I’ll figure that out. I’ll write till I figure that out. 3 months is all I ask for from my life.
Perhaps this is a mistake. Perhaps I will regret it and hate it that I threw away all these jobs. But that’s a story of later. Right now, the question is this – jump off the cliff or not.