I remember a conversation with a friend some years ago. I was explaining my frustration with photography to her, and how I feel photography is actually kind of pointless.
She said to me something like this:
“Even if it’s just a hobby, I wish you keep taking photos.”
Forgetting all the serious stuff, artistic suffering, professional photography, the pain of having exhibitions and worrying if the photos become a cohesive series, could photography be simply just a way to relax, a catharsis?
I absolutely think so.
One of the reasons why I sold my X100 and switched to film camera is because I want my photography to be less digital thing; something I can do without touching a computer so that I can relax more.
Taking photos of people is a wonderful way for me to communicate with them, especially with people I don’t know that well. It’s a bit like journalist is sympathizing while making an interview, a kind of soul communication. In that space with a camera I can just be completely myself, it’s so liberating.
But shouldn’t photography have a goal and shouldn’t photographer try hard and have ambition to reach that goal? Maybe. But someone said, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. Maybe we don’t need to suffer all the time even if we feel pain, frustration and loneliness at times.
The truth is that I am completely fine with the probable fact that I will never be famous or “successful photographer” whatever that means. After I die my books and negatives and prints will wither away and will eventually disappear completely.
But I still want to photograph. If not for other reason, just as a way to relax and be completely me for a moment.