For a while, I found myself wandering, unsure of which direction to take with my photography. It was a challenging period, and I want to reflect on my experiences, my artistic struggles, and the emotional labour I invested in to carve a path forward.
Back in April or May of this year, I hit a creative roadblock. I had been working with models, refining my technical skills, but something was missing. There was a void of meaning in my work that left me unsatisfied.
I tried several things to get myself out of this creative hole. I thought I had to do more artistic projects, so I attempted various photographic styles, including street photography and expressive portraits, but nothing I did made me feel like this is the way – there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It felt like my head was guiding the shots, not my heart.
For years, I’ve been captivated by Japanese culture, aesthetics, and philosophies. Concepts like ikigai and Zen Buddhism have always intrigued me.
Luckily, I found a training called Wabi Sabi photography. It was a one-day course, we met in a zoom call learned a bit theory and then went out and shoot. So, I started exploring the Japanese approach to photography, and suddenly it made klick.
Wabi Sabi photography is about embracing imperfection, practicing mindfulness, and infusing your inner world into your art. It’s about finding beauty in melancholy and positive solitude. It resonated deeply with everything I care about. In one of those “aha” moments, everything fell into place, like a satori moment – an enlightenment experience in Zen Buddhism.
Wabi Sabi photography is about embracing imperfection, practicing mindfulness, and infusing your inner world into your art. It’s about finding beauty in melancholy and positive solitude. It resonated deeply with everything I care about. In one of those “aha” moments, everything fell into place, like a satori moment – an enlightenment experience in Zen Buddhism. I knew this was the path I needed to follow.
Wabi Sabi resonated with a lot of things I care about: Slow photography, capturing what I feel, not what I see, the beauty of candid moments and the mundane.
I did not make many pictures that day – which was great because Wabi Sabi is also about slowing down, being mindful about your photography. There two or three shots with which I can say I got a glimpse of the idea.
It felt like a calling, a connection between my art and my inner self. Sure, I have a lot to learn, and I’m aware I might take some wrong turns along the way, but that’s all part of the journey, and I’m embracing it.
This revelation marked a turning point for me. I made a commitment to dedicate my artistic work to Wabi Sabi photography. It’s an exciting journey of exploration, finding my voice, and understanding my calling. However, it’s not the kind of excitement you often see in Western culture – it’s a quieter, calmer, more settled excitement, much like the essence of Wabi Sabi itself.
I feel empowered to move forward, to capture the beauty of imperfection, and to express my inner world through my lens. It’s a journey I invite you to join me on. Your thoughts and insights are always welcome. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me.