I am a man surrounded by corpses and I love them all. Dead ideas and dead directions. Some of the ideas, for whatever reason, did not make it to full life. Merrily dancing around this field are the ideas that survived; unscathed and unaffected. Maybe those thoughts had a little extra spark to begin with. Here I stand among the living and the dead. It occurs to me that some of the people I meet often wonder how I got here and how they might do the same. "Here" usually refers to how I ditched my respectable job just so I could follow what it was I truly wanted to do. Photography. To answer that or to even understand the fullness of the question you must understand something else: I'm not precisely sure how to respond. Never will be. How could I? In truth, I'm no different than you. Maybe just taller.
It's odd to be here. A 'self made man' whatever that means. I suppose it's accurate to say that in fact everything I've accomplished is a mix of luck and some kind of perverted will; luck to start and then the will to keep going. But wait...this is a photography blog. So why the dross and the darkness? Let me set the record to an inescapable straightness before we wander through paragraphic bewilderment together. No, you have not stumbled into some weird room full of stories of self inspiration. Far from it. Yes, I make pictures and in equal correctness you could add that I somehow managed to twist that inclination into a brand new career. This newness of refreshed direction is what brings into sharp relief an odd feeling of undoneness wrapped in discontent. The notion that something is ever "finished" or that you our I or anyone will reach an apex at the top of some lofty mental mountain is, for lack of a better word, bullshit.
Sweet Jesus. Could that be why I'm writing this? Indeed. Who knows? All the same when it's time to write it's time to write regardless of that rightness being rightfully and righteously writeworthy or writable. Right. So here we are; you the reader and me the weary typist with some first hand experience on what it means to make a big jump into whatever it is I've jumped into. Helping people achieve things...no. Forget that last part. Allow me to regroup the words. Helping others to build...fuck. No, that's not it either. Letting you see...yes, yes that's it, that's what I should say. Letting you see that you can do anything you want has become a weird tallow that somehow floated to the top of this most unlikely of success stories. You have permission to be yourself. You have permission to chase off after what could be certain defeat, certain failure. And make no mistake about it, you will fail. That's not to say that you won't win. Because just by making yourself open to the odd mystery of it all you become something more than you were. It's this new incarnation that could be called a complete reinvention of self. It will transcend any ideas of quitting after you start. Once you free yourself not from fear, but from the inhibition that goes hand in greasy hand with fear, you will realize that you will never be guaranteed success but only freedom.
Now, where was I? Ah yes, the corpses. Wasn't that where we began? It's all coming back to me at last. You're here for the talk on photography or at least hoping for some round about and epic tie-in about how photography can unlock your own deep buried creativity that will bring about a long awaited personal Renaissance to change your life forever. Are you struggling to "make it" with your work? Well, do you even know what that means? Because I didn't when I first began down this road. There are so many people and places that try to mold you and give you a formula to make your own special little elixir for turning your camera finger into a money machine. Sorry to disappoint, but unless you have a pristinely minted gold plated size 14 horseshoe of questionable Dwarven-make jammed up into the dark depths of your ass then you likely will never make that dream a reality. I can teach you about photography. I can tell you how to make a picture but I can never tell you how to funnel all that into something more. That's where it ends and you must take your own journey, your own ride. The thing about setting out on a 'journey' is that you truly never know what will happen along the way. The obstacles you encounter will steer you. The challenges you face, no matter how insurmountable, will guide you...even though it won't feel like it at the time. The final destination won't certain until the day when you find yourself standing alone in some distant field looking back on the incredible story you've made for yourself.
You'll see the corpses. You'll love them all.