Why is it so hard to know who we are and be ourselves
We can never have enough cameras, lenses, tools, lighting equipment, … Among photographers this is known as GAS –Gear acquisition syndrome. I am guilty of that two. Half a year ago I bought a Fujifilm GFX 50R. For a while I was fuelled up by the excitement of shooting medium format, the range finder style, and finally being able to use my Minolta 85mm lens for portraits. How I loved the pictures that came out of that combo, but soon I realized that it was only a band aid and that I had 5 shootings with it. It didn’t fix the problems I have with my journey as a photographer. So I replaced it with a x-pro2.
The crazy thing is: I can apply the concept of GAS to all kinds of things, related to my photography.
There is always another youtube tutorial I need to watch, a workshop I must attend, another online training I feel like I have to take.
Therre is always another blog post about 5 things professional photographers do, or tips for beginning photographers to take better pictures – and I want to read them all.
It is not only about fomo, that I feel like I will miss some crucial information – the one that truly transforms my photography.
It is also some kind of imposter syndrome – at any moment, someone could find out that I am just pretending to know what I am doing when I am holding a camera in my hand.
Before every shooting session, I get anxious. It doesn’t matter if I have worked with the model before or not. What if I cannot make a connection with the model, what if I cannot come up with some image ideas. This is due in large part to my way of photographing. I don’t plan my shootings from start to finish. I heavily rely on the collaboration and the spontaneity of my subject.
It doesn’t matter how often I did this, serendipity plays a major role in my creative process and in my life.
As always, I turn to ancient Greek philosophy: “Know thyself” (Greek: Γνῶθι σαυτόν, gnōthi sauton) written on the temple for Apollo in Delphi – wouldn’t it be much easier if we would know who we are and what our soul’s purpose is? It is easier said than done. We don’t pick our purpose it is something that we discover and that may also change over the course of time.
“An unexamined life is not worth living.” – Socrates
This is little consolation, but probably the only viable path for us.