A Good Day

December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Monday, December 20, 2010, the day of the only full lunar eclipse for the year, the night of the Winter Solstice, was a good day. A very good day.

No, I didn’t make it to practice in the morning, neither am I anywhere closer to doing an unassisted headstand. My hamstrings are as tight as ever, and am light years away from nailing Upavishta Konasana.

But it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. It was the day where I baked, styled and shot images like this and this, published a post about it and manage to bake again in the evening. Incredibly productive, incredibly satisfying. It’s been a while since I felt really proud about something I’ve blogged about. Not just for the content – making homemade Nutella is enough to melt anyone’s heart – but also the quality of the photographs. Ironically, I was just sharing with M the night before that I felt ‘stuck’ across the different parts of my life: the blog, photography, yoga, dinner ideas, building a new site…..everything. It felt as if I was playing catch-up to my neverending To-do list, constantly worrying about whether my photos were ‘good enough’ for me to market myself as a photographer, feeling like the images I took lacked a certain evocativeness or ‘oomph’ about them. And that’s not even touching the constant anxiety I have over whether the contents of my posts are refreshing, original and evocative, how I’m going to post more than once a week to increase traffic to my site….I’ve told myself that I’m not in this for the money (of which there’s hardly any) or for fame (which I’m nowhere close to attaining) or the number of retweets for each post. Still, I can’t help but feel a twinge of envy/resentment when I read about the successes that other bloggers/photographers are achieving and look at my state of inertia and feel downright sorry for myself.

So, yes, I’ve been mired in the depths of self-pity and inertia for what feels like the past couple of months. Not a lot of self-confidence in there, or a whole load of self-love either. I’m constantly critiqueing my work – thinking that I can do better, constantly, with every post and every image I shoot. I want to make it count, not take up space on the hard drive as my lame attempt to jump on the latest trend and hope to get caught up in the wave. But that produces a gnawing sense that I’m not ‘good enough’ compared with the bloggers/photographers that I admire and respect. It’s destructive.

And somehow, without realizing it, I did it yesterday, with the work that I produced. I made it count, and I’m seeing the rewards, with the comments and number of visits to my site. It’s insane. When I look back on yesterday and at how I went about my day, ticking off the tasks in my mind and trying to get everything done, it seems like just another day where I’m working on a photo shoot and post. When I think about the creative process I went through, how I put things together to build an image, it really took a life of its own once I started playing around with colors and props, to produce a series of images that even today, I can’t stop looking at and admiring, thinking that it’s one of the best images I’ve produced, ever.

It’s a funny thing, these twins of Creativity and Inspiration that I draw on for producing high-quality food photographs. They’re elusive, intangible and fleeting, sometimes easily accessible, most of the time, not. The trick is in mastering skills to access them more often and more easily, if that’s possible at all.

Wow, this is a real long post about something that I just wanted to record to remind myself on low days in the future. Yesterday is over and today is already a different beast. But I need to remember that it’s not about the day, the weather, the time of the month, that influences the quality of my photographs. It’s about knowing and building confidence in my ability to create photographs like these. There are lots more in there, waiting to be realized, I just need to find them.

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