This was one of only two shoots I did last year. With the pandemic, we really never left the neighbourhood, so it wasn't like I was scouting locations to take photos. I had to make due with my own surroundings. At first it was difficult, but once I get the camera in my hands and shift my perspective to taking photos, it's hard to stop.
As we all know, 2020 was a pretty messed up year for everyone. For me, it kinda killed my creativity and drive for photography. Being stuck at home, I was looking for every excuse to not shoot or edit. Whether that was something wrong with my process or using the pandemic as an excuse to not visit a location I wanted to take photos of. For example, I have this automatic archiving process that I built to help with streamlining how I archive my photos and schedule them to post on social media. Then right around the time of this shoot, iOS 14 came out and presented a bug that made my process I built unusable, and that was enough for me to put off doing anything photo-related.
Looking back, I'm glad that I took that time apart from this though. It has made me rethink how I approach not only my photography but all my art. For one, as an act of self respect, I'm going to start referring to my photography and music as art, and not "creative work". I've always felt like an imposter calling what I do art, but it's a direct expression of how I'm feeling when I shoot and edit that photo, or make that piece of music; if it's anything, it's art.
Another example would be that starting with this gallery and going forward, I will no longer be using watermarks on any of the photos I post. For one, it adds a step to my process between editing the photos and preparing them to be shared, and second, I want my photos to be more easily shared to other pages and accounts to gain more exposure. Maybe there's something wrong with my photos or it's because I've always added the watermark, but I've always had trouble getting larger accounts to share my photos.
I've had great exposure from Unsplash where I share my photos for free without any watermark, so why should I continue doing it on my website or Instagram? Those versions of the photos are compressed versions of the original anyway. I have thought of different ways of sharing/licensing the original versions of my photos; I've gone the stock photo route, but I find that market to be very saturated and the returns and satisfaction from that to be very low from my experience.
I'm currently working on a lot of background processes still for my creative work, like a new website that integrates all of my creative outlets into one website but I'm not ready to keep the camera down while that happens. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that while I didn't have the motivation to take photos, it doesn't mean taking a break from something you enjoy is necessarily a bad thing. I'm still very excited for where my photography will take me and how I'm going to use that to express myself. Whether that's with these photo sets or something completely different from my usual architecture shots. I'm ready to grow.
For now, I hope you enjoy this photo set from last September from my neighbourhood. My partner and I had a great time exploring some spots we often pass by but rarely appreciate.