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For several months, and especially the last six weeks or so, I have been living a quieter life and one that does not revolve around photography.  The winter season is typically a slow concert season, so I focused on smaller gigs and my 365+1 Days of Awesomeness photography project.

But I soon realized I needed a complete break from photography.  My 365+1 Days project was feeling increasingly like an obligation and I suspected I was starting to take ‘easy’ photos of the day (like photos of the cats or sunsets), instead of trying to capture an image that represented the day.  The whole point of my 365+1 Days project was to create a visual diary, with one photo capturing perfectly the day.  I didn’t feel I was doing it justice.  And I didn’t care.  So I stopped.

Concert photography, as I had mentioned, is slower in the winter months, so I did a concert here, another one there but almost everything left me feeling empty.  My big international trip was a bust when all media credentials were pulled two hours before the show.  (Fortunately, we were able to obtain seats but I had to use my point and shoot and although the shots were good, they weren’t what I was expecting to capture at all).  That’s when I realized that I was burned out and needed a break.  The egos in the music business (mine included) were getting in the way of my passion for concert photography.

So what have I been up to?  I’ve had great conversations (and a couple not so great arguments) with Charlie.  I’ve ended my days curling up with a book.  I’ve caught up with old friends and made some new friends.  I’ve painted, planted and prayed.  I’ve enjoyed my quieter life.

The concert season is starting up again and I’m scheduled to shoot tonight.  I’m in negotiations with a music festival and had a major publication ask about my availability for a late summer concert.  I’m excited about the future and getting behind the camera again.  I want to better share my photography in both image and written form.  Although I’m not sure about the future of my 365+1 Days project, I’m going to start keeping a camera with me everywhere I go, like I did before.  Maybe I’ll ease back into it, maybe I won’t.  Regardless, I’m going to make photography about passion again and not obligation.

I suppose every artist goes through a period of self-exile.  Periods of re-evaluation are constant but a full fledged exile has its value, too.  It is in exile that you clearly see where you’ve been, map out where you want to be and plan how to get there. 

I think I’m ready for the journey.

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