Photography has always been my escape from the sometimes harsh reality and my tool to help me find a more magical side of reality. After my world came tumbling down this year, it was harder than ever to pick up my camera again and see beyond the heartbreak, to regain my belief in the beauty of life itself.
After months of sorrow and grief the moment came to go into the forest again and take pictures, but it felt like the spark inside of me had gone. This spark, this ignition, is what I live for and I felt like I had lost the most important part of me. Something whispered to me urging me to go to the places where the heartbreak was most tangible, for when I was to find magic there, I would be able to find it anywhere. In time, the feeling of illumination returned. My photography changed, but it is more personal than ever. I had to dig deeper to find enchantment and when I did, the results were different than in the past few years.
This is what is beautiful about art, about fine art photography (if one wishes to make that extinction). Life shapes the artist and then the artist creates. Life shakes the artist and the artist creates from a new insight, from a new sense of self. It is an evolution that holds within it the essence of life, which is always evolution. I love this about art and artists. Artists work with something which can not be copied, they work from their unique self, their unique experiences and circumstances. It must not even be attempted to replicate it, because to copy this is to see the surface of a work and then rob the soul from it.
This year was about a full return to square one for me. It was a year of reconciliation with the past, with what had happened. It was a year of learning to be brave enough to stand up against the ever growing hunger for popularity on social media. I choose authenticity. I choose to have the courage to capture my own perspective on reality.
Living and creating is one for me. Life simply looses its luster without the ability to create. This year eventually brought me back to creating from the raw essence of me, which is always, always, looking for the magical side of reality. My dad told me to always stay true to myself and ever since he passed away, I have tried to live up to this even more so than before. I refuse to live up to the demands of social media, I refuse to live a life that feels false to me.
If life is to mean anything, it must at least be true. I will not be creating sunbeams that were not there, nor will I be replacing boring skies for exciting ones, for pure fear of missing these magical moments in person. Photography for me is art, it is the art of a moment. I am not a purist in any way, but I am not giving up moments of excitement just to have a popular picture without working hard for it. The reward is bigger if the effort has been greater.
If I have to return somewhere 10 times to get that one picture the joy is overwhelming when finally things line up. The joy of having witnessed something magical far exceeds the image itself. This is photography....Witnessing and capturing moments of time when magic is unfolding in front of us, to remind us that this planet is beautiful, that life is so worth living and that magic is still out there for those who choose to see it.
May you witness many magical moments in 2021, may your mind be open to discover enchantment and may your trust be in the essence of you when you are creating.
My most memorable magical moments of 2020 captured in photographs...
I really appreciate your support and hope that if you want to learn forest photography, you will consider purchasing my ebook The Magic of Forest Photography