I had a major meltdown this morning. Tears and runny nose and hoarse voice. The works.
I know what prompted it: a combination of David being gone for the past two weeks, not having a decent night’s sleep since he left, and reading where someone else had her images accepted by Getty Images. Whereas I’m happy and excited for anyone who has their work accepted by Getty, I’m also envious of their success. I realize that Getty and most stock agencies look more for lifestyle moments, and not so much for bald eagles and macro shots of daisies, but still, I wish my stuff would be noticed by a subjective party. It is nice to be noticed every once in a while, nice knowing that a stranger likes your work and wants more of it. That’s where the envy lies. Being validated for all the crawling around in the hot sun in the mud and being eaten alive by chiggers and mosquitoes; braving the bitter North wind in winter time and coming home with frozen fingers and toes after shooting bald eagles and snowflakes.
After all that, yeah, it would be nice to have Someone Important contact me and ask for some of my images for their ad agency.
During my big cry fest this morning, I seriously considered giving up the whole photography gig. Just chucking it all, selling my lenses, taking down my portfolio and closing my iStock account, unsubscribing to all my photo websites and newsletters, everything that has to do with photography and moving on with my life. Getting back to reading hard cover books, gardening, the things I used to do before my camera touched my hands. I’m exhausted from trying to figure out new ways to promote myself, especially when I cringe at the very thought of promoting myself. One of my biggest fears is public speaking, and here I am needing to put myself out there to get my images sold?
Oh dear Lord!
And yes, I tend to go to the extreme when I’m in the midst of a good Pity Party.
I’m exhausted from the whole thing. It wouldn’t do any harm if I gave up the camera. I’d have more time just being, just living.
But after I calmed down, I realized that I can’t put my camera in the trash can. That camera is an extension of myself. Photography is now tied neck-and-neck with running as my choice of self-therapy. Even as I was thinking that, I caught myself studying the way the sunlight was coming in through our storm door and composing a shot in my head. I next realized that I may be looking at this whole “wanting to get noticed and woe is me!” thing the wrong way. Stock agencies aren’t really into the whole nature and wildlife aspect of photography, at least not the ones I’ve looked into anyway. Or maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places on their sites. At any rate, I need to come up with a different plan of attack and quit worrying about stock agencies and traffic and who is the most popular on Flickr at the moment.
I know what I love more than anything to photograph, and that’s dew drops on wildflowers and pelicans flying in fighter jet formation and sunsets seen through old gnarled trees and the simple singularity of a snowflake. It’s the quiet moments in nature that people don’t see that I love so much that it brings tears to my eyes from the beauty that I get to witness. That’s what I love to photograph, and will continue to photograph.
I can act like a real 6-year-old at times. And that’s how I’ve been feeling most of the day today. Guess it’s time to grow up another 41 years and put my Big Momma Panties on and get over myself. I know there’s a Plan for everyone, I just wish I knew what mine was.
Even just a little hint would be nice.