A few weeks ago, Brooklyn Magazine hired me to help out with their “100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” issue. I was tasked with photographing 16 different movers and shakers in the film industry. The brief was very straightforward, photograph everyone outside with a blurry background and from the waist up.
It had been a while since I had shot. Last summer I went through a period of photographing a ton, nearly every day I was working on making portraits. It honestly felt prolific. I couldn’t believe the amount of work I was producing. I had a personal project going of photographing women with dyed hair and was also shooting friends and friends of friends and even random strangers on the street. But what I didn’t expect was that the well would completely dry up. I’m not sure why, but I just stopped shooting suddenly, as quickly as it came, the source of inspiration also left. I had been hitting the ground hard to photograph as many people as possible and I think I simply hit a brick wall. I burnt myself out. I took a trip to California in the fall and I purposefully didn’t take my camera simply because I felt tired. I didn’t want to do any shooting while out in CA. It was the first time in a long time that I didn’t take my camera with me on a trip. And admittedly, it felt nice to have the break.
Of course going through an extended period of little to no art creation if you are an artist is a bit daunting and you do start to wonder if your time with the craft is up. Those thoughts did start to creep in to my mind at the beginning of the year after about 3 months of non-shooting time. I worked on printing a new portfolio, but felt a bit lackluster in that endeavor. I started exploring other mediums (particularly sewing and embroidery) and thinking of how else I’d like to express myself. Then I got this email to do this Brooklyn Magazine project and I thought “Why not? It’s straightforward and I’ll probably meet some cool people.” So I did the job and a funny thing has happened. I’ve started to get those tingle moments back of wanting to shoot. I can feel it dancing around me… that desire to shoot more, create more. I’m not sure where it is leading me, but I’m here with that feeling again, which feels good.