I’m a firm believer in keeping your identity small (the irony there is both palpable and delicious).

I think when you make something a part of your identity you give it a huge amount of power over you. I find it easy to become attached to an image of myself and forget to re-evaluate whether it’s still an accurate representation of who I am/want to be. I used to identify as someone who didn’t drink, and so it made drinking into a super big deal and clouded my decision-making process.

Having said that, having a strong sense of who you are seems to be a pretty important human thing - we’re all about sense of selves and individualism (I can’t help but think of Pratchett’s auditors here to contrast against). My current thoughts (will probably be refined in future) are that traits/hobbies/values help us to frame things as we navigate the world, and enable both ourselves and others to understand and relate to us.

A large part of the value of this blog is as a mechanism for accepting both of the above and wrangling them to work together; to be deliberate and highly selective about what I choose to identify as, and then fully embracing and improving at those things.

A photo of Hannah in a tree A photo of Hannah in a tree A photo of Hannah in a tree

Photography is a thing that’s wormed its way inside of me and become an integral part of how I see myself, and I’m totally willing to work with that! I have a lot of respect/admiration for people who use photography to create beauty or capture important moments, and it’s something I aspire to do myself.

So with ‘deliberateness’ checked off, that leaves ‘embracing/improving’. Most of my photos are me documentating whatever I’m up to at the time, rather than deliberately setting out to make good art, so I’m making an effort to create time to organise/do photoshoots.

Hannah with flowers

My current focus with photography is on people, for the following reasons:

  • People are fun! Bouncing ideas off others is a great way to get creativity up, and I’m definitely a work-in-teams kind of person :)
  • Having a subject adds a lot of emotional depth to a photo
  • Portraits seem like a good way to try and improve my intuition around lighting
  • Taking photos of/for people seems like one of the easiest ways to go about doing actual work as a photographer
A photo of Hannah on the stairs A photo of Hannah on the stairs A photo of Hannah on the stairs

Shooting with Hannah was ridiculously fun. We played with Volunteer Park on Sunday, which made for some great woodland nymph-esque photos. The park was so easy that it was a challenge to come up with somewhere new for Monday (we ended up exploring Cap Hill and stopping whenever we felt inspired, which seemed to work out okay).

As much as I had a blast, and I think we got some good photos, I was actually a little disappointed by how much better we worked together when Hannah was behind the camera. I’d love to learn to model, but the priority for me is definitely taking the photos. I think my lowest hanging fruit for improvement is giving directions; I have more ideas when posing myself, so I need to figure out how to channel that into ideas for whoever I’m shooting.