I can’t remember exactly when my Love for photography left me.
It was around the time when I was paired with an unlikely person. The relationship ended quickly, but the hours of endless passionate clicking and editing was replaced by a sense of dread and fear due to a couple of related incidents, I suppose.
Unfortunately, the feeling never left.
I tried many times to be able to make use of this degree, this incredibly expensive and time consuming piece of Paper that said I had the ability to professionally work at something that I just couldn’t get myself to love anymore.
Every time I picked up a Camera the memories of this horrible period of my life would come back to life. I could taste the salty tears and a black and white film would play in my mind as if I was transported to some dirty, dark underground cinema where you were allowed to smoke.
All those clicks and crunches, sore backs and long evenings, years of study and countless hours in a room without windows were suddenly a waste of time.
I refused to give up at first.
I used my piece of paper to get a job in a small studio photographing lovers, daughters and spoiled pets. But apart from a rarity of lovely experiences, the dread was enough to send me into a life of hiding in the bathroom and being possibly the worst employee you could find. I remember being spoken strongly to by my boss at the time about whether this was what I truly wanted. We both lied and agreed it was unusual. Like most lies, it eventually crumbled.
Nobody knows how to approach a lost love of art. It’s almost sadder than it is joyful when you watch an old man softly stroke the keys of his favourite piano or rustle up the half written books that never quite made it to the printer.
We are given a choice to try or give up but nobody really knows what to do if you suddenly stop loving it. They believe you tried and then you gave up and promptly became a secretary at a law firm.
But then I met you.
It started off small, just little photographs of your lovely face, your knobbly knees, and trying as hard as I could to document the way you walked so handsomely, although you lacked posture, and the lines around your eyes that lit up whenever you would laugh. I desperately wanted the world to know how incredible and important you are. And so it began, one click at a time.
The camera that hung around my neck as I travelled suddenly got lighter. I found myself waiting for the sun again and running up hills to reach a better light source. That I didn’t just end up taking photos of the things I truly and deeply loved anymore, wallpaper and fire hydrants suddenly became beautiful again. I longed to capture the man with the furrowed brow arguing over vegetables in a Greek market. I would hide in the cafe in Paris until the lady who fed the neighbourhood cats would stroll by, even a folded t-shirt felt like a viable photo subject.
I’m not cured by any means, but it feels good to be able to look out the window, take a breath, and click to my heart’s content once again.