Having spent a lot of time writing about other people's work I have developed a kind of house style, a default setting when approaching work. I have developed a skeptical view of work initially which makes me wary of most of the work I see. I find it incredibly hard to get riled up or excited about photography, the work of others and even my own work. Its a bit like an overflowing of seeing and describing other works that makes it hard to even focus on your own ideas. This has been the story since graduation.
Although it has been incredibly positive to write about the work of others I have found that my own practice becomes obsolete. I rarely take time to take or make pictures, however you say it, and I find myself becoming frustrated. After you complete another text there is an dissatisfaction with what you have seen, not in every case of course, but the process leaves you underwhelmed.
In the rare circumstance that I submitted my own work across to a submission based publication I was pleased to receive an email back. After submitting my own pictures and a handful of texts that went along with it, the work was overlooked and my writing was picked over my images. It felt like a polite insult. It was then published which was a nice feeling but I get the feeling that this is a common trend for writers/photographers. The thing is and this only just came to me now, there is a smaller amount of photographers writing about photography and making work. Which begs the question, why do we do it? Are we only partially successful because we are the minority?
It is a nice thing to stand out because you are of a smaller amount of people doing it but it feels like a kind of insult at times when your work is always overlooked and writing seems to pick attention more often.
Is it because my writing is better than my pictures? Perhaps. Is it because my writing is getting in way of photographing hence why the writing over takes? There is a whole load of answers I could reply to with yes in that situation.
The core issue here and this is something that has struck a chord with me even more since I have started writing full time at work, is that when I get back home the last thing you want to do is write because that is what you do all day during work hours. The same dissatisfaction occurs with corporate writing and art speak, if you like. You feel quite empty after doing it.
And it is a bit like going to a talk and not having a question to ask, the same feeling occurs. It is all very well looking into and promoting the work others but what about your own practice. What are you doing in photography?
I should ask myself that.