Our lives are always driven by our passion for success – a relative term. It can be success in career, love, spirit or in the celebration of life itself. In all the struggles leading us towards success we are often stressed and get addictions. Whatever the addictions, drinking, smoking, listening to music 24 hours, chatting, etc… the world has the way to classify them as good or bad. Who cares???!?!?!?
Well addictions are good as long as they are not a need 24/7 and you feel something amiss if you don’t get them in your timed intervals. I was never addicted to anything like this before till I started photography with a tag to it – STOCK.I remember my 1st month in DT which was so frustrating considering my images getting rejected on huge amounts and no sale for a long long time. I was loosing faith till…. The first sale finally happened! That was it. I could not stop from there. Whenever I woke up, it was about checking the earnings balance, approved files list then again checking all that before I sleep. Damn, I was wondering if it was really worth it.
By the time I reached to the solution of the above problem I reached new heights in addiction to stock photography. No matter where I go I started avoiding taking pictures of people who wouldn’t possibly sign my model release. Though these pictures would rake up a lot of attention in art photography, I started ignoring it. Which was bad. Slowly as time passed by I realized that I am only running after money and not real photography. Stock photography is just a type of photography which is saleable to a wider audience where in art sells at exclusive prices in much choosy audience. Finally with the new understanding in my brains, my photography resumed its old glory.
But addition never stays stable when it exists. It either stops or keeps growing. I now started to keyword and put a description to anything I came across in my eyesight. Whether I am was with my camera or not. I look at some ants carrying pieces of sugar and go – teamwork, team, workers, insects, macro, nature, life, burden, etc… looking at some lake at sunset I would go – picturesque, serene, sunset, reflection, sunup, sundown, beautiful, evening, dusk. God I was going crazy. There was nothing else I saw in this world. Everything had kind of become a matrix of keywords and descriptions of any image captured by my eyes. Instead like the binary codes falling down in movie matrix, I seemed to see keywords everywhere!!! I again knocked of that too. Which was very very hard. It was very difficult to get out of the stock photography role and be in normal everyday life and see things like others do - Without description and keywords and more imagination.
By the time I have given up the above problem, a new one has popped up. Yesterday I went to the swimming pool for my daily summer swim. Last 4-5 days I was cloudy wherein it was very sunny yesterday. And I went saying to myself…. “I need to reduce the brightness and increase a contrast a bit” The blue is getting reflected everywhere so I need to decrease the saturation/intensity of blue tone. And whats that light up there… its to bright!” And I looked up and I was like “WHOAA!!!! This is not a studio and I am not looking through the lens or doing any editing in my computer screen”. Wow that was really shocking for me. I have seriously considered taking a break during stocks peak season and not to do photography at all for a month. I will just concentrate on my music.
In this example our passion in stock photography is only – MONEY. But this is my viewpoint. Because in stock I first exploit the concept of the frame I see and ask – “Will someone buy this concept?” This doesn’t happen when I would photograph some relative in the family who is not my model or some scene with some people in it… a memory which would be everlasting… something I wouldn’t want to sell/share even if it has something like an exclusive sale paying thousands of dollars. Stock photography surely increased my techniques, the quality of photography and also my general understanding about the buyers world. But on the other hand I started giving less time to my music in the keyword matrix, less time to myself, it was worse than an job where dreams were also made of keywords.
This addiction would be something many of us can relate to in here. But its not only about stock photography. Its about our new-age lifestyle and money oriented passions that is not allowing us to grow as a spirit or as a species. We have evolved to the next species and have left the pure human species behind. Right from animals to our todays existence we grow on love & companionship as much as we grow on food, air and water. Give yourself some time. Give yourself atleast a minute to sit down and think about yourself... only yourself and see the change it makes.
Now I will start with self-help or spiritual blogs soon. My growth of the knowledge of photography is stalled at the moment. So hope the future blogs will help you more in YOUR WORLD!
Photo credits: , Nikhil Gangavane.