This is going to be a quick but important post. And it might just help you persevere through these times.
I’m no photo guru or distributor of universal wisdom. Like many of you, I’m struggling daily to maintain a balance between my job (public relations for a higher education system), my roles as a husband and father of three young children, and my vocation (photography and writing).
And I mean some days really struggling.
If we are to make it through this with our mental health in check and a sense that these difficult times are making us stronger, than we have to believe there is joy even in smaller victories. Happiness can be incremental. To expect to be happy every minute of every day may just be an impossible goal, but perhaps little by little, we build happiness, a culture of happiness within our lives, through moments or small, daily achievements.
For us, that’s where photography comes in.
Whenever I pick up the camera, it’s done deliberatively. What I mean is, I’m present in the moment through the camera. Forget about everything else for a moment. The camera allows me to experience the moment as I create using all of its features, whether it’s lens choice or depth of field, shutter speed or making something in black-and-white.
Those days when there’s no time to create, even a little post like this, those are the hardest, it seems.
And they seem to be more frequent than not lately. Some of us have jobs that take so much energy and time, and then we have children to raise, and these are all good and necessary, but hard. Stressful. And at a time when our health and safety require so much thought and worry, let’s just be honest, none of this … none of it … is easy.
But busy work times end. And for us, the camera is there waiting to be picked up and used again.
I’m in one of those times now. My job is taking a lot of me. My wife’s job is very demanding too. And we prioritize being attentive parents. These things are not always compatible.
During those times, when I hardly photograph or write, I just have to keep faith that the opportunities to create will come back around. They always do. They should for you too.
This post is to encourage you and to encourage myself to not give up. That would be worse than the stress we might be feeling in this moment right now from our jobs and the demands of home life.
The energy isn’t there right now to say much more than that. Profound? Maybe not. Necessary? I think so. Don’t give up, pick up the camera when you’re ready. I will too.
Dave Pidgeon is a dadographer (father with a camera) and writer. He lives with his wife Alison and their three children in Lancaster, Pa. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com