I Take Pictures

Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed the other day, viewing all the excellent, inspirational photography from around the world, I had a strange revelation. I go nowhere. Not that I didn't know this, because I did, but it struck me funny at the time.

This guy went to China. That one took an African Safari. And another got a picture of the rare Iridescent Bubble Bird in the jungles of Brazil (totally made that up, but you get the point). Yet my last photograph, I took out my front door, and it really wasn't that good.

That said, I decided to do an experiment. I left the status on my personal wall, "Posting my photos from the Himalayas," and waited to see who would notice.

Guess what? Not a soul said anything until late in the day when my dad saw it. I admit I laughed because he does know me, knows I'm a homebody, definitely knows I'd never go to Nepal. His comment brought one from another friend, who also knows I'd never do such a thing, so we joked about where I hadn't been, and it was all in fun.

But on the serious side, the end of my 365 project in 2013 has left me in 2014 exactly where I was in 2012. On the couch. It doesn't help that the weather stinks (even here in Florida). We've had some nice migratory birds, but I must wear a sign that says, "Quick! Fly now!" to all the avian life because they see me coming and take off. Plus, the season is wrong for flowers and insects, and knowing that, I don't bother to get up.

That said, my husband had a rare day off a few days following my faux trip to Nepal, and he suggested we visit a local lake. The weather was, of course, rainy and foggy, but I got some nice photos anyhow and came away with my faith renewed in my abilities.

That's what happens to a photographer who goes on a long stretch of nothingness. You start to doubt yourself. "What if I've lost it? What if I just can't keep up? What if compared to the guy who discovered the Iridescent Bubble Bird I am really as lame as I feel like I am?"

Nah. STOP IT. That's why my author friend (we'll call her Jersey) tells me when I start to doubt my writing. JUST STOP IT. And she's right (for a Jersey girl).

We are often our own worst enemies. Case in point, I spent a week tormenting myself over paying my taxes and wondered at the end why I write books if only to give one-third of it to the government. That really isn't any different from doubting photography. I've made more money writing books, and I love it. But it goes deeper than that.

Both writing and photography are part of who I am. When I pick up my camera, regardless of how long it's been, how many places I have or haven't gone, that same soul satisfaction comes over me, a reaffirmation of who I am as a person and what taking one photograph means. So what I was in the same city, the same county, the same state. So what I didn't fly somewhere, live in a tent, and eat insect larvae.

I am me, and these images, good and bad, are my world. Jersey sends me pictures of the snow, and I send her pictures of the brown grass. That's how it should be, and when it all boils down to the meat and bones, how I want it to be. I love my life. I love what I do. I write. I blog. I take pictures.

Pretty cool, huh?

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Suzanne Williams | Blog

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.