Once I came to grips with the fact that I wasn’t going to win American Idol this year, I had to find something else to do with my time. Lately its been taking pictures. Or, ‘capturing photographs’ if I want to sound all fancy. There is an odd side of me that needs to be creative. It’s a strange feeling since I have almost no artistic ability (except that diorama I made in 3rd grade – 1st place!) and very little knowledge of art. As the saying goes, “I can’t tell you what art is but I know it when I see it”. Or was that pornography? I get them confused.
Posting the pictures I take makes me feel somewhat awkward. On one hand, what’s the point of taking them if nobody ever sees them? Am I turning into a Kardashian-like creature desperate for attention and trolling for compliments? On the other hand there are 2.3 billion (approximately) other people out there doing the exact same thing. And a fair percentage of them are actually creating stuff that’s damn good. Heck, take a mediocre snapshot with your cellphone, slap an instagram filter on it and you’ll get a bunch of people on Facebook all liking it and commenting “wow, great shot!”.
So why bother publishing pictures to the various social medias du jour? I’m never going to be an “artist” (I don’t even own Birkenstocks and I’m not a fruitarian). I’m never going to be a professional photographer. Other than baby and wedding photos, I’m not even sure it’s an actual occupation anymore.
From a technical perspective I’m at about a 5th grade level in the photography world. I have visions of real photographers looking at my stuff and saying (always in a heavy French accent) “how cute, someone found a copy of Photoshop”.
So why do it? Because I can’t paint. I can’t draw. I can’t sing. I can’t carve wooden bear statues or ice swans with a chainsaw. Sometimes I see an image in my head and taking a picture is the only hope I have of getting it out. Most of the time they don’t match what I was thinking. But every once in a while… it feels like you get one right. And if just one person out there sees it and thinks to themselves “hmm, that’s sorta cool” then I suppose it was worth it to share that brief image I had floating around in my skull.
The problem I have, as a non-artist with limited brain cycles devoted to creativity, is that the majority of the images in my head are about bacon (don’t worry, I’m in a twelve-step program for my addiction). And bacon, while a delicious super food, doesn’t photograph well.