Shoot for yourself. It is something that we hear a lot. What’s never articulated, however, is just how hard it is to shoot for yourself. Sometimes you can trick yourself into thinking you are shooting for yourself, when in reality you’re not.
When I make a photograph others deem to be “good”, I get positive feedback, which triggers a little release of dopamine in my brain. This creates a craving for such feedback, and soon I start making photographs for the sole purpose of getting that fix, I become an addict. There is little out there that is more destructive than an addiction, and in a case like this, I feel it causes you to lose all objectivity of your authenticity.
Sometimes I will make a photograph that I really enjoy, but then find myself feeling as if I have to explain it because it defies the conventions I’ve learned through positive feedback from an audience. As an amateur, and someone who shoots for himself, the only audience whose opinion I ought to care about is my own. I should never feel the need to explain a photograph; in my mind, that’s photojournalism. A photo simply shows a moment, from a certain perspective, and nothing more. A photograph is a minute window into a private world, and nothing more.
Also, in eleven days I’ll be embarking on a ten day road trip through the Atlantic provinces in search of adventure and perhaps some life lessons.