If You Come To A Fork In The Road, Take It.

I’ve never been a very nice person. I would like to be. I can remember in camp as  15 year old thinking that many of the other boys in the cabin were much nicer than I was, and I was going to try to fulfill some destiny, and resolved to be a nicer person.

I am not sure what that meant; because on the outside I was a relatively benign, fearful, harmless, and even funny, but inside I knew I had acquired my mothers powerful critical eye, and was capable in finding fault with most things and most people, which happened to also include myself. To this day I still have great difficulty liking myself although I am better at integrating the two aspects of my personality.

Ironically though, through massive doses of therapy, living, thinking, and watching, I have learned much to my amusement that this very critical dwarf that has resided in me since childhood has been my salvation. Learning how to let it out, realizing it’s potential and enormous strength has allowed me to flourish and helped me significantly as a photographer. What I took as weakness, anger, and something terribly frightful, has turned out to be confidence, strength and enormous determination. You see these terrible dark fears when released become the powerful forces that drives your green fuse. What feels so wicked, so terrible, can turn out to be so good.

As I mentioned I have a very critical eye which I have used to attack others as well as myself. Through the years (and I will tell you more about this in later blogs) there have been people such as Anna Freud and Frances Ilg (one of the founders of the Gesell Institute) and others who have commented on my perception and that not much slips by my being. I have often been referred too as witch like as I pick up clues immediately as I pick up cues about people, places, objects, etc. I once had lunch with Anna Freud and I mentioned to her that when I looked at somebody through the camera lens, I did not see all their evil but rather all their fears and anxieties and where 20 years of therapy could lead them. I could see people had a choice to choose in believing in the evil or working hard to realize they are just fears.

I can see right into your soul, and this gift has allowed me to pursue photography. Even though at this point I do not do much portraiture, I can still pick up a camera and see what lies deep within you. I can see what you would consider your weakness and frailties, but I am capable of seeing them as your greatest strengths. I know this is a life long endeavor, but if you are capable of facing your fears they will disappear and you will find the strength of character you never thought you had.

For weeks I have been reading the comments of those that feel despondent at the possibility of succeeding as a photographer without relinquishing a good part of your soul. I once again beseech you to spend your energy on finding that hidden repressed voice, to scream it out if necessary and find a way to believe and fight for your work. The battle to believe is not just with the client, it is also with ourselves.