I am blessed to have a friend who is not only a fellow writer but a fellow photographer. I admit to talking her ear off far too often on both topics, and I hope she can forgive me. I just get excited sometimes. :-\
One thing that really gets me going is this notion in publishing today of writing as a business, as something one does to follow the market and cash in, rather than something one does because one has to, because the words gush from their head and their heart and demand a medium in which to reside. Yes, I'm that writer. The one who could care less about "the biz." The one who cannot be forced to write. The one who composes entire novels in her head before penning a word. (Not literally, but yes, phrases do arise and I memorize them)
I snuck guiltily back to Chase Jarvis's blog recently - guilty in a sort of "we're not worthy!" way - and he had recently posted about the love of photography; how so many shooters get caught up in the gear and "the biz" and forget why they do this in the first place.
I'm not there yet. I don't have a business. I don't have "gear." I have a really cool camera that I'd never heard of before I bought it, then immediately found that two friends also had one, then found that it's one of those cameras the top dawgs (and those who imitate them) look down their nose at. I bought a cheap tripod made of plastic that makes cheap grinding noises every now and then when I'm panning. I have the one basic kit lens that came with the camera. So, I guess it's kind of impossible yet to get lost in the trappings of modern technology, LOL.
More importantly, though, the list of questions in Chase's blog post got me to thinking. It's a yes to all of them - but for how long? I've had many hobbies and interests in my life, and quite a few of them I have delved intensely into. When I was in high school, it was diet and exercise - I learned everything about them, everything. And I lost a lot of weight. But did I become a trainer? Did I keep the weight off? Do I care ten, fifteen years later? No.
So, it's kind of sad to ponder about the fate of my photography. I don't care if I never make my living by it. I love it right now. But I kind of want to love it forever. What if I can't?
Bringing it all back around to my friend - I am grateful for her for many, many reasons, but more than anything I know that I wouldn't have this right now, and I wouldn't have something to take my mind off my current situation, if she hadn't invited me to visit her three years ago to go trekking around scenic North Carolina with her and her husband. It's become a yearly thing, and I've learned a lot from someone who believes in the integrity of her photography (which is obscenely beautiful, by the way) without needing the bells and whistles of post-processing.
There are a lot of what-ifs and don't-knows in life. I guess I just have to believe that I found my friend for a reason, that the love for what I do is there for a reason, and that nothing is ever more important than art for art's sake.