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Thread: "How will this affect your photography?"

  1. #1
    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    "How will this affect your photography?"

    "How will this affect your photography?" Is a question posed by the psychotherapist I've been seeing for the last 3 years for depression. She got me to focus on going back to photography after a burn out after 30+ years in IT.

    Now we've been looking at how the terminal cancer of my wife is going to affect my life and since photography is the center of it (we have no children or family). How will it affect my photography? Change of content, style, themes. Do I photograph her dying like Annie Leibovitz did Susan Sontag and her father? Do I not capture it and hold the images only in my heart? Will I turn more outward or inward in my work in the future?

    I'm having to ask myself these questions which drive to the very root of love and the creative.

    Have any of you here ever dealt with this and your creative life?

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


  2. #2
    wbrandsma
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    Re: "How will this affect your photography?"

    Hi John,

    I think it is brave and wonderful you ask yourself and us this question.

    I have been photographing since my childhood, but had a sort of pause in the late nineties. In 2001 we got a beautiful son, but in the coarse of growing up we noticed things not common. After long struggles and many visitations to doctors, therapist, and psychaitrists he was diagnozed with autism. Our lifes went upside down. His presence is wonderful, though also concerning. As it will be for his entire life, and ours.

    But "How did this affect my photography?" I mostly worked in colour photography for all my life. I got interested in photography in 2004 again. But I felt uncomfortable with colour, it was too much the reality. I started to experiment with B&W, making photographs of more ordinary subjects, because our lifes weren't exactly ordinary. I felt more appreciation for the things around me, my neighbourhood, the regio I life, my daily walk to work.

    But most importantly. I took the oppurtunity to share my work. I got isolated before, and never showed my photographs to others then my relatives. I met people, made friends, and my self esteem got stronger. It is helping me. I really enjoy photography again, have fun with it, and love the creative process, though that have changed substantially for me. A dear friend of my gave me this wonderful compliment and sort of acknowledged realitycheck: "your concern for your son and devotion to your art is forever".

    I think that is the major question you should be asking yourself to. Do you enjoy it? Do you still feel the joy of a great capture? Do you feel comfortable with it? The burn out and the termincal cancer of your wife must have been really hard to cope with. So many things have probably become "must" things for you. It took bravery to go back to photography. Maybe let time answer some of your questions.

    Though your corcern for your wife will probably not be everlasting, I hope the love, memories, thoughts, and your devotion for photography will be forever.

    With sincere regards,

  3. #3
    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: "How will this affect your photography?"

    John,
    I have.
    My wife died from breast cancer now five years ago after a nine year battle.
    Th last for months were the hardest for me as I saw her drift slowly toward the inevitable. I decided to keep her at home and at the end, her children were able to spend a few last weeks with her. During this time, I completed my transition from film to digital, and managed to take a few pictures of her and our children. I am traveling now, and do not have access to the images, but they are my last visual memories and were worth it.
    After she was gone, and things had settled down a bit, I went on a photo trip to Italy. Looking back, I see a dramatic shift to my images timed around these events.
    I am no psychologist, but I noticed a dramatic shift from people pictures to landscape.
    Maybe it was just due, but I found that a short immersion in my photography helped focus my mind and get my back on track. Well everything else too has changed since nothing needed to be maintained.
    -bob

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: "How will this affect your photography?"

    It's 5:41 am and I'm crying
    Your'e ALL such BRAVE SOULS and I'm touched by your Strength
    Best, Helen

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: "How will this affect your photography?"

    John,

    i am not ignoring your question. i am still composing my thoughts...

  6. #6
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: "How will this affect your photography?"

    I don't even know how to begin to respond... However I do know some more about Bob Freund (above) that others may not; and that is he does counseling to families assailed by cancer. Might be worth it talk with him offline...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: "How will this affect your photography?"

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post

    Have any of you here ever dealt with this and your creative life?
    John,

    I suppose many of us have been there - or somewhere similar; but I don't think I can offer anything more at present than to be yourself, and do what you feel in your heart is right: carpe diem.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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