Because, why not?
Because, why not?
I’m not capable of just taking a regular beach vacation. I get too bored of sitting around. (This drives my wife particularly crazy)
I need a creative re-calibration.
This trip also coincides with us moving from Chattanooga, TN to Greenville, SC because you don’t need to take vacation days if you don’t have a job anymore, but also it was time to break a cycle that I’ve been trying to break for a long time and just. couldn’t. do. it.
I talk about this a bit on my podcast episode with Robert Schoolfield; basically, I felt caught in a loop. I didn’t feel like my work was improving, but rather, I was just doing the same stuff over and over again and so I had to force a change to be able to see differently again. I needed to re-capture why I’ve dedicated my life to photography for the past however many years, because I had totally forgotten. All I could see was negatives, and I just couldn’t get myself to climb over the wall that was blocking me from accessing my creative brain.
It got to a really crazy point, which yielded depression a bit, where I just couldn’t create ideas anymore. There was a point where I was driven crazy by the amounts of ideas I had day to day, and then, nothing. I was eating really poorly and living unhealthily (which is a huge factor), and I felt like I was on autopilot. So, I started another 365 project (365 Strikes Again), which is usually what I’ve done when I needed a jumpstart during an internal crisis. While taking photos everyday I was starting to feel like myself again, and it became more and more apparent: It was time for something new.
When I first started photography, it was around 2008 or 2009, and I lived in Hawaii. All I did was take photos of nature (because, Hawaii), and I never ran out of interesting stuff to photograph. It was like an all you can eat buffet; good photos just jumped in front of your lens no matter when or where you were. Then, I moved to Chattanooga, which is beautiful, but it has winter and seasons of brown, so I had to learn to make things interesting without the help of paradise.
And that’s why I’m doing it again: I’m learning how to climb out of a creative slump while simultaneously having to be a responsible adult who has to provide and stay healthy (which wasn’t really a concern back in the beginning). So I’m exploring paradise once again and seeing with new, refreshed eyes. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned on this trip home with me to make some new and better work.
I’m on a photography pilgrimage to throw out everything I once knew, and totally start from scratch. In fact, seeing Creed II was perfect timing because it has a great scene of Adonis having to go out into the desert and re-kindle what he loved about fighting. There’s a lot in that movie that has weird parallels to what I’m doing in life right now, maybe I’ll make a blog post or podcast episode about it soon. But of course, the Rocky movies always give me a weird amount of inspiration because I was so into them as a kid.
I fell out of love with landscape photography over the years too, and I’ve found some of that again as well (but how could you not out here?) So here’s photos from the trip: