Recently, I wrote an article about making do with what’s in front of you called A Photo-Walk Around the Block. I hope you’ll go take a read of it if you haven’t already. This article is a little extension of that one, where I stress the importance of at home photography.
Improvisation is a Necessity with at Home Photography
I spend a lot of time at home these days due to Covid and sometimes it can drive me stir crazy. However, with my health issues over the years, I’ve become accustomed to being at home and improvising. It’s been no different with film photography.
I have never let being stuck at home, or stuck in bed, keep me from shooting with my cameras. Since I started shooting with vintage cameras, I have made it a practice to take pictures everyday. Whether it’s outside around my house or indoors, I look for the light, and I shoot. Improvising is a necessity.
Taking photos of the everyday mundane things around you, on the surface, seems boring, and unimportant. However, if you really look at everything objectively, you’ll find the beauty and importance of what you see.
Learning to See without Judgement
I have a photo book called Animals That Saw Me by Ed Panar. In it there is an essay written by Timothy Morton who says, “If you have suffered trauma, one of the most healing things that can happen to you is being seen.” He went on to explain that it doesn’t mean someone has to literally lay eyes on you for you to be seen. It means that someone holds your image without praise, blame, or indifference. He described it as an unconditional, compassionate holding.
That really stuck with me because I remember when I was in the hospital for the very first time, I was there for two months. At the end, when I was about to be released, I was dehumanized by trauma to the point that I no longer recognized myself. I felt such an overwhelming need to be held. That was when I got my dog Frankie, because I just wanted so badly to hold something that loved me unconditionally. I wanted to feel human again.
Being Creative when you Have no Choice
When I returned home from the hospital this last time in 2019, I quickly learned that there is nothing that motivates you to become creative more than when you have no other choice. I had no choice but to find the beauty around me. I had no choice but to learn to see without judgement.
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Final Thoughts on at Home Photography
Seeing without judgement and with compassion is what makes a good photographer. I would argue it is also what makes a good person. What do you think it means to truly see without judgement? How do you feel about at home photography? Let me know down in the comments.
I talk about this subject much more in the video below. It is very special to me because it was not easy for me to talk about these things and to put myself out there in such a vulnerable way. I wanted to make an article and video on the importance of taking photos at home without it being just another How-to. Instead, I described it and presented it in a way that hopefully demonstrates its importance through my own example.
I hope you watch and enjoy. Until next time, stay motivated and keep shooting.