Well, it certainly has been some time since I posted on my blog. As the year came to a close, I came off of a slew of weddings, holidays, vacation and life in general that kept my busy. So, now it’s nearly February 2011 and I’m finally looking back at my collective work from 2010. I almost decided against posting these photos, because lately I’ve felt that I hit a wall with my photography. I’ve caught myself switching to autopilot several times in the past couple months as I march off to work. It really bothers me when it happens. So one thing I took away from my experiences this past year was to relax more with photography and return to some of the more simplistic pleasures of making images.
Also, I’ve been listening to A LOT of Cat Stevens music this past year. If you know anything about Cat Steven’s music, then you know he can leave you staring into space pondering life for hours on end.
I was largely insipred to post these images after reading a blog post by my friend, Aaron Hardin and his drive to continually explore with his camera. Aaron’s work has been amazing this year, but it was his words that really hit home for me:
“Seeing each image brings back sights, smells, emotions and ever lingering doubts. ‘Am I any good at this?’ ‘Am I getting any better?’ ‘What defines ‘BETTER’?’”
I don’t know if every I saw as put this together brought back sights and smells, but it definitely conjures emotions and frustrations of failed projects, repeated meaningless assignments of fluff and the question of “When did I shoot this?” as work starts to blur together.
Now, before I become a complete Debbie Downer, there were some positive experiences and not every image I made was from a mentally distant place. I wouldn’t have called this past year a stellar year for me in my photojournalistic pursuits, but it was a great year with my wedding photography. Also, I helped start a wedding photography business with some friends, Hands Up Visuals. Go check us out. Not only do we rock, but also we really want to tell the story of your wedding day.
(A little shameless promoting for you, Brad.)
Now, these photos are not what I consider necessarily a “Best of 2010” slideshow, but rather a retrospective journey I took with my camera in 2010. It was one of those years were I could feel I was growing, except the results were more internal than external. Kind of like a flame getting beaten around by a strong wind, it’s not as bright or as hot as it could be; however, it did not go out.
So, I learned to relax a little with my camera and made one of my favorite images of the past year, the lead photo in the slideshow.
“Kyle, before you go, I gotta have a beer with you. I haven’t had a beer with you yet.”
This is what my 91-year-old, great-uncle Dave said to me as I was walking out of his house during an impromptu July trip to New England. Needless to say, when a 91-year-old asks you to have a beer with him, you turn around and go back inside.
I will say 2011 has been pretty swell so far and I can’t wait to see what becomes of it.