For a great many photographers, this is a hobby… a way to pass time and have fun, but for many of us it’s a lot more than that. My title question was sincere: do you think your relationship with photography is a balanced, healthy affair? Or perhaps you’d describe it as an obsession…. a compulsion?
- Who here has at some point felt there is something wrong with them?
- Who thinks they are being irresponsible in the time they give to photography?
- Who feels guilty?
- If you could not photograph, would you create in other ways?
- Whose relatives think they are stark-raving-window-licking-nuts?
- Do you try very hard to create time in the day/week to take photos or print? Do your relatives complain about this?!
Once upon a time I would have said ‘yes’ to all of these things, but then I realised that photography was the tonic for something deeply internal. Here I am writing this blog, which makes this point plain! I don’t photograph because I want to; I photograph, because I have to. Well, if not photography it would be more writing, sculpture or some other creative pursuit to relieve the force that needs an outlet.
I may have mentioned this before, but some time ago I learned a little about Myers-Briggs (personality) Type Indicators (MBTI) and got a big fat ‘INFJ’. I then started reading and a great deal became clear. It was truly wonderful to discover that I am a ‘typical INFJ’ and so not nearly as odd as I thought.
I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who has gone down a similar path, or is worrying about these things now! Is photography more to you than you can readily explain to others? Do you know your MBTI and are you by any chance an IN_ _?
Here’s a good MBTI test which is free and takes about five minutes. It also gives you percentages for each of your four categories so you know ‘how far in’ you are.
P.S. The photograph at the top of this post is one of my favourite images from Afghanistan in ten years. I have not published it until now, because it deserves to be much, much larger. It was the last photograph I ever took at/from the Russian Cultural Centre, before it was torn down. It had to have been a powerful force that took me to a bombed out building in such a country, alone, at dusk and into nightfall. And it was.