When I was little, and by little I mean around 10yrs ago, I began my love affair with photography.
It actually may have started before then, but I do know that it was very real at the age of 13.
I don't remember what camera I had then, probably a little kodak, but I can remember taking pictures of everything, especially people. Back then, my motivation wasn't hindered by social media.
I simply wanted to create.
It's what I'd always done.
I've always been creating something.
I remember this one photo I took, of a little boy holding up a giant bull frog, and it was perfectly framed...just the bullfrog and the boys eyes in focus.
To this day I'm still somewhat shocked that 13yr old me took that photo, it's not too shabby. I think I even won first place with it in an art show.
A few years and a few cameras later, I can remember painting my face and taking some really strange self portraits. I edited them to look unearthly, ghostly and weird.
The feedback I got back from them (because by then I was that obnoxious 15yr old posting on facebook waaayyy too often) was less than positive.
I mean, you can say "woah that's creepy" in a positive way, but I didn't get that.
Thankfully, 15yr old me really didn't care. I knew that I loved what I had made, and that was enough.
Things continued on in this manner for quite some time.
Just me, my camera, and my tripod.
Some of the photos are pretty embarrassing to look at now, but hey, my future kids will enjoy seeing awkward teenager me someday.
My point of all this is, I wanna get back to where I was then.
Obviously, I want to my skills to keep getting better, but I miss the mindset I had then.
I didn't create images with the sole purpose of posting on social media.
I created images, both photographed, drawn and painted, because it's what I loved to do.
Opinions didn't matter to me. The number count was non existent.
But now as I type this I'm checking my insta to see how many likes I've gotten on my recent post.
On the flip side, social media is a wonderful tool. I mean, I've met some of my best artist friends though Instagram. I've made connections with people I have and someday will collaborate with, and I know that number of people will keep growing. I've been inspired and encouraged by other artists.
I've grown a lot with it.
But there has to be balance.
So maybe that's what I'm trying to figure out these days.
The delicate balance of how to use social media to its fullest extent, without falling into its life sucking and soul zapping trap.