Okay, here you go. Nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide. You want to be a photographer? You want to understand? You want to post and reap the rewards? Well, get ready for the trauma that comes along.
I’m in a foreign city right now. Not foreign as in international. Just foreign to me. I’m editing, writing, building decks, building plans, covering my bases. As we do in jobs like this. A short day. 400 miles. Up in the dark with a cold floor under my feet. I linger for a moment in bed, watching my wife sleep. She is wrapped tightly and the bed is a mess. But she is happy, deep, lost in some mindful world of the dream, hopefully. If I disturb her she will start talking, a rambling, incoherent mess that only I will understand. That is what comes from closeness.
I fight the urge to remain. But I know I must go. Pack, fuel, drive. Fingertips frozen. Satellite radio while the free subscription lasts. CNN, FOX, MSNBC. I listen to any and all as the Pecos Wilderness passes by to my left, to the north.
So you want to do this. So you want to be a photographer. Well then, you better begin to understand what it means to walk in my shoes. And I mean really understand. To do this well you have to cut ties. You have to cut ties to you, your thoughts, your goals, your beliefs. All of it. Done, over, gone. This is the price of admission. This is the buy-in. Otherwise, you are pretending to be. You can’t do two things at once, let alone three or four or five. To truly record you must only record.
This is hard. And it gets harder. More difficult. Turning your back on the easy and the safe. But to truly record what this world is about you must pierce the surface, deep breath, and descend. Pull the cord. Weighted sled of responsibility pulling you past where the light fades and you are left with only the darkness of what lives in your mind. Fear, insecurity, ego and if you are truly fortunate, hope.
You have to know me to shoot me. You have to walk in my shoes. Perhaps metaphorically but you have to know. When you can leave and go home you might not ever know, for sure. So you have to try harder than ever. You have to forget. You have to ignore.
This is the game that some of us learn and can’t stop playing. Like Joshua. The only reasonable move is not to play. But who said any of us are reasonable?