I’ve been dwelling on this one for some time this year. Photography is a lonely pursuit. For some, it is a release from the constance of home pressures and work pressures. They may be people who have lives where they seem to be surrounded by people, held back by schedules and and tied in by commitments.
But what if you’re not that kind of person? I’ve always had friends who are ‘busy busy busy’ but I’ve often felt that they have created this hectic-ness as a distraction. Perhaps they’ve made themselves so busy to keep their minds of the fact that they are lonely, or perhaps they’ve created this busyness to fill their lives and give them purpose. Or perhaps it’s as simple as it’s just the way it’s turned out to be.
But I’ve often liked to have a lot of space around me. I can’t concentrate or feel at ease if my calendar is so hectic, so I don’t fill it up..... and now that I’m a full time pro, I seem to find I am even more isolated than I ever imagined I would be. Perhaps too much space around me now, which in many ways is making me feel overwhelmed in just as much the same way as I would be if I were too busy.
Photography as I’ve said is a lonely pursuit. Depending on how you define ‘lonely’, you will agree or disagree. Perhaps a better definition or word would be ‘solitary’. So photography is a solitary pursuit. It gives us time to be on our own, to internalize, to lose ourselves in a pursuit and the outdoors for a few hours. That is all very liberating, but what I’m alluding to is what happens when you have so much free time, you find that any time away doing photography, feels like self inflicted solitary confinement?
I’d always dreamt of getting away - going to visit and photograph the Scottish Islands, and as much as I do enjoy it - there’s only so much of it that I can handle in one sitting, before I’m keen to return to base, back to family and friends, back to familiarity. I think that some of us are drawn to photography because it allows the gypsy part of our characters freedom to roam, freedom to disconnect from the pressures of modern day life, but it also seems to be a way of keeping us away from the ones we love and although we are engaging in the world on a visual and sensual level, we’re not engaging with others.
Your thoughts appreciated.