Just shoot…

I bet you thought you would have to wait some months now until the next blog post…but no, it is already here!

No need to worry though that there will be a blog post every day – that would be too much for anyone I feel but neither will there be a fixed schedule.

In general, I am determined to write more regularly this time, actually to write a little every day as it is a really good exercise (also recommended by Stephen King in his book ‘On Writing’ which I can highly recommend) and I want it to become a habit. First, there are a few more topics related to my last post that I want to go into more depth about.

I have been thinking a lot about WHY I had lost my motivation to make photos during the last few months and one of the reasons was that I had developed a strange conviction.

I was so convinced that because I had a business now and was trying to establish myself as a ‘serious photographer’ all my photos needed to mean something deeper. There had to be a story, a metaphor, a deeper reason why I made the image. I no longer allowed myself to simply take (yes, not make but simply take or even better shoot) a photo just because I liked it…and of course I definitely could not share any images that did not fulfil my self-imposed requirements. All images HAD to be ‘portfolio-quality’…
I was at a point that I was even trying to find ‘fancy titles’ for my images…how stupid is that – especially when I have to admit that I myself did not remember those titles the next day :-D.

I had the same problem with my poems, I wanted them to be special and I was afraid that just writing them the way I thought would not make them special enough…so I looked up words in the dictionary… you are allowed to shake your head 😉

In case you were wondering, yes, the same also applied to my blog posts – I thought they all had to be super serious and oh so deep now…or why would anyone want to read them.

It was the fear of not being good enough, not being special enough…

The only comfort I can give myself is that I did not share any of those poems as I somehow did not like them and that I deleted the fancy titles for my images again – no, I wasn’t referring to all my titles even if you think they all sound fancy 😉 -…and since I wasn’t able to make any photos or write a blog post…no true evidence is left behind except for this blog post writing about it 😀

I had to realise that just taking (and sharing) a photo for the simple reason that I liked it, writing a simple poem with simple every-day words, writing a blog post only about the ‘boring’ things we all have to do (like archiving and reorganizing my images which I am doing at the moment) is absolutely ok.

Enjoying and seeing beauty in the simple things and tasks is also a special gift…or what do you think?


  1. Andrew Atkinson on June 7, 2018 at 09:44

    It is like you are writing what I am thinking.

    • Isabel on June 7, 2018 at 09:54

      Scary, isn’t it…could be one of my special powers 😉 But joke aside, it seems that we are not alone in this looking at the replies I get. Maybe sometimes it just takes someone to say it out loud…

  2. Stephen Charlton on June 7, 2018 at 14:07

    so refreshing
    I guess many of us feel the same so thank you for articulating it for us.

    For me it was always your images

    • Isabel on June 7, 2018 at 15:19

      Thank you, Stephen.
      I am not sure if I should say that I am glad that you feel the same…that sounds just wrong 😀
      It is really interesting to see how many people can relate to my experiences and I am really glad that you share that with me, makes it easier for me to continue.
      Sunny greetings from Denmark

  3. Dave aka No.1 on June 7, 2018 at 18:36

    I did worry that the more ‘professional’ direction you were going in might take you away from that beautiful child garden that you usually inhabit, seems thankfully it never will.

    Your pictures and words, fancy or plain, always take me to a very nice place, one that I never want to lose the ability to get back to, my own ‘child garden’. Keep going Tinkerbell, you’re doing great.

    So sorry I never managed to see you here in Blighty, I would have loved to have met you in the real world.

    Peter Pan aka…..

    • Isabel on June 7, 2018 at 18:51

      My favourite No.1
      I am so glad to hear from you and also very sorry that we could not meet when I was talking in Nottingham… One day!
      Yes, I seem to always find my way back to my child garden and you sh0upd know that you are always welcome to visit and stay for as long as you like 🙂
      Sending a BIG Tinkerbell hug with a twinkle 😉

  4. Wendy Chapman on June 8, 2018 at 00:10

    When I met you and listened to your talk at Connect’d I was impressed with how you seemed to know yourself and how your photography was true to your passion. Knowing how you were derailed by those distracting ideas may be stressing for you but it is a comfort for me. I think it is a part of caring about what you do and wanting to make it the best. Just shoot is exactly right.

    • Isabel on June 8, 2018 at 14:42

      Dear Wendy,
      it was so nice to meet you at Connected, I wish we would have had more time to talk.
      I think it is because I have been going through these times – and never gave up before I knew WHY – that I know myself so well, but there is always a new challenge and the learning will never stop…I have a feeling you know what I am talking about.
      So let’s just shoot and enjoy!
      Isabel 🙂

  5. Ivana on June 15, 2018 at 16:52

    So glad you shared this! I too go through same feelings and doubts. It seems the art world values mostly conceptual art that has something relevant to say about current “issues” – be it political or social. But having a concept around my work is too much intellect before heart for me. It’s like putting thoughts first instead of feelings. And I just don’t work that way. I am attracted to shoot things because of the way they make me feel. And often because they are beautiful to me. Which is another no no if you want to be a serious artist because you might get the label decorative 😉 Trying to come up with a concept to slap on my work afterwards has proven so difficult for me. Not to mention that I feel like a total fake when I do that 🙂 This conviction that my work is not deep enough to matter has actually made me stop painting for over a decade! Forcing myself to work around a preconceived concept just made me miserable and took all the joy out of creating. So good on you for going with what you like and not loosing your way by following what’s considered special and worthy by others.

    • Isabel on June 15, 2018 at 17:56

      Exactly! I like the way you say it would be like intellect before heart. That is so true.
      You probably know that Claude Monet painted all his water lily images ‚for decorative reasons‘ because he wanted people to enjoy them on their walls at home. It is a pity that we let these ‚rules of the art world‘ stop us. It is time to make our own rules, if we don‘t then they will win and all beauty will disappear…how horrible would that be. So let‘s be rebels

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