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I literally have no idea what I'm doing

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

So I spent a few day of my life setting up print sales on this site, linking to FB/IG and setting up some ads to try and get my images in front of people. I got caught up with the numbers which are going nowhere. Ads are running, people are seeing them, some are having a look but no one is buying. A couple of probable reasons, prices are too high (even with very little margin) or the one I don't want to acknowledge, which is that my images are not good enough... (Hey, who knew just using a ULF camera and shooting expensive sheets of film wasn't going to make them better? 🤦‍♂️)

The point of this writing is not this though. I was obsessing about getting people to buy a print. Tweaking which images, tweaking copy, adjusting prices, adding coupons with no results. This is not great but what was worse was the negative thoughts it put in and took over my head.

The last few days the weather gods have blessed most of the UK with some stunning foggy conditions. Some photographers dream conditions. Fog makes anything look great, even Steel Towers... I set out to make some images. The only thought going through my head however was would anybody like and buy the composition I was setting up? I was second guessing myself, I was ignoring why I make images. For me, for my muse. If you haven't read Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art" and the following books you owe it to yourself to give them a go. If you have you'll understand what follows.

I walked away from a couple of promising images telling myself those won't sell (says me who has no idea what sells anyway!), getting more and more annoyed. It wasn't me getting annoyed though, it was my muse. Giving me a nudge that I wasn't doing this right... Fortunately I'm not stubborn enough to not listen. The next composition I saw I made an image and felt better. The combination of doing the work, the cold fresh air, the birdsong, the fabulous conditions worked their magic.

Muse nudge

A short while later after absorbing the calmness of The Great Wood RPSB reserve I turned to head home for a much needed coffee and some breakfast. The fog was still dense but the sun was trying it hardest to break though. I was presented with the following scene. My initial reaction was muted, but my eye was caught by something. The fog smothered sun, the disappearing woods and the tractor tracks leading away across the field. The coffee and toast were calling and I nearly didn't make the image, yet gladly I did. I was pleased when the negative came out of the tank, even more pleased when scanned and processed. What I didn't see in the image or expect was the reaction from social media. Just goes to show what do I know? Nothing. What does your muse know? Everything.

Don't make images with your head, make them with your heart. That's reward enough.

PS. You can buy a copy of I hate my brain in my print shop now 🙏

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