As a person who tends to overthink, I often question why I do certain things. Recently, I have started to ask myself why I picked up photography as a hobby, not because I don’t enjoy it, but because I feel that there’s more to it than what’s on the surface.
To encourage my new hobby, I have started to carry a camera with me everyday. Sometimes I go out with the intention to shoot but more often than not, my camera sits in my backpack until I feel the need to pull it out. I started out strong in the beginning, but my photo-taking has slowed down. I suspect, that part of why this has happened is because my mind keeps going back to that same question: why do I want to take pictures? After a lot of thinking, I think I finally know why.
Self-expression has always been something I craved but as someone who is “creatively challenged”, I suppressed this innate need for a long time. In moments where the need for self-expression was so great it felt almost overpowering, I turned to writing. But it wasn’t until I started taking photos on film that I began to realize that this was more what I was looking for. But I still find myself looking for more from my hobby and perhaps that is because I still need more. Photography is a powerful medium in many ways and I am ashamed to say that I only recently understood how powerful it can be. Not only can the photographer show others how they view the world, but the photographer can also learn more about themselves through the photos they take. I realize now, that it is this self-reflective component that I need in addition to self-reflection in order to truly express myself.
So, self-expression without self-reflection: it’s not wrong but it may not be enough.