Back to Basics

morning-cup

The other day I was browsing mags and happened to see “Artful Blogging” in amongst the stacks. It caught my eye so I flipped through it. The imagery I found was beautiful and inspiring and I bought it simply to browse the artwork and photography and hopefully, ideally, be inspired in my work. Once I got home, various magazines in hand of course, I started to actually read the interviews and articles with these creative bloggers. It got me thinking. A lot.

I started blogging back in 1997 or so (before “blogging” was such a ubiquitous term). It started as an online diary, of sorts, and as a way to document my every day life. Whether anyone was reading it or not didn’t bother me. It wasn’t about how many readers I had, how many hits, how many followers. Slowly, the blog started introducing more photographs I’d taken and I found I simply loved snapping shots throughout the day of various odds and ends; a rusty padlock on a gate, a crumpled leaf in the grass. Things that caught my eye were snapped in the moment and blogged as part of my day. It was simple. It felt good. The blog, now a photoblog, started to get more press and I was, I admit, delighted! Apparently Nothing was featured in Digital Camera Shopper and The Guardian in 2003 and things grew from there. I was honoured to have my photographs published in various offline and online publications, and even more astounded that people wanted to actually purchase prints of my work. It took a long time, but eventually I referred to myself as a photographer. And, it all began with blogging.

My love for blogging and specifically photoblogging, led me to co-create Expressions (the first hosted photoblogging system). It was a great learning experience and I met wonderful photographers and artists (many of whom are good friends today). In the last year or two though, things have changed for me. I haven’t posted to Apparently Nothing in months. I hardly post here (a blog that was intended to be a place for me to share thoughts on other things I enjoy: design, books, food etc.). There are a number of reasons for my “slacking off”: a busy workload, big changes in life… the list goes on. Really though, I think my head got in the way. I started to over-think everything. Instead of just photographing things that I enjoyed, or that simply caught my eye, I was constantly fretting about how my “readers” would view the image. Would they like it? Would I get comments? In short, I lost the enjoyment of photoblogging because I was too concerned with everything else. In the same way, I stopped simply documenting my life because honestly, who cares?

Reading about these creative bloggers though, I realise that documenting my life through a blog is not about who reads it. It’s about my own, admittedly selfish, need to share. I’m not a very interesting person. I don’t travel the world (although I would love to), I’m not into extreme sport, and I don’t hit the clubs and have a hopping social life. I’m laid-back and I work hard. I spend a lot of time on a computer. I’m a geek. And, that’s all ok. I can document the mundane if that’s what I have to offer. Whether anyone reads it isn’t the point. I go back and read some of my earliest blog entries and they were pretty boring in all honesty, but they did allow me to remember things I thought I’d forgotten. Little tidbits from my life years ago that make me smile now. If that’s all my blog has to offer in the future, I’m glad for it.

So, this is really my very long-winded, rambling (and btw, I never proof read these things so excuse my errors) way of stating, for myself, that I am going back to basics. I am going to document the every day with the simple goal of documenting. It starts with this post and my morning cup of coffee. Back to simple. I will also be picking Apparently Nothing back up off the dusty floor. Apparently Nothing was always meant to be a way for me to simply share my love and enjoyment of photographing. I need to go back to that.

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