5.7.13

THE BEAUTY OF BLOGGING

Seen as though I started The Only Place nearly a year ago, I thought now is as good a time as any to mention why I started blogging in the first place and what blogging is all about, for me.

When I started this blog I had just bought a new camera after not photographing anything seriously since finishing my degree 3 years earlier. I think uni can beat the fun and passion out of anything, 3 years of non stop photography with essay after essay (on a more art-photography based course I have to say) turned into a bit of a drag. So by the time I had finished, I had no specific style sorted and no interest in a specific type of photography due to trying to learn everything I could in those 3 years. 

When I left I had no idea what to do as the next step, or even how to make the next step but after submitting some of my work I ended up interning on the BBC news picture desk. I soon realised I didn't have to take photographs to still be part of the picture world (yeah, I paid all that money for my degree to end up realising that!) and decided that working on picture desks was the way for me. After my time at the beeb I had a pretty bad experience with some of my work being viewed by the majority of people who looked at the BBC website that day and decided to leave a *few* negative comments about the quality of the work (if you want to know, it was a project I did in my spare time whilst working a shitty bar job using a disposable camera and photographing what I saw each night, nothing particularly groundbreaking but good use of my time there), it was pretty tough for a fresh faced 21 year old graduate to take. 
Perhaps a bit rashly I sold all of the equipment I had as the comments had completely ruined my confidence and we moved to London so I could find a job on a picture desk - which I did, eventually!

The first job I had here was great, the people I worked with were so lovely and it was my first proper job where I got a proper salary and I was working in pictures, score! Everything was coming together job wise but I didn't feel completely satisfied with what I was doing when I got home, which was a whole load of nothing. I still felt like I wanted to be creating something but still felt pretty sensitive after the negative comments. 
I read Patti Smith's Just Kids where the whole first part of the book is about Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe trying to find their art. They were searching for the one thing that they were good at, which I felt I was still trying to do now photography was off the cards, so my quest began. I started a sewing blog after taking an introduction class, I learnt embroidery and tried my hand at making a pattern and documented it all through blogging, I then bought some watercolours and painted some birds and even thought maybe writing stuff for real was maybe my thing (it really wasn't) but after all this it was still the photography based blogs that were dominating my feed and the only exhibitions I was really interested in seeing.

After spending nearly a year being completely inspired by so many blogs with beautiful pictures and dipping my toe in the blogging world with my own not-quite-right-for-me sewing blog, I decided to buy a camera and start again. It was pretty instant falling back in love with it and starting The Only Place gave me a purpose to put my work out there and to encourage myself to constantly improve. Having my own blog has made me see how valuable it is to build a small community who comment on each others blogs and encourage you to do exactly what it is you're doing, even on those wobbly days. It also means I can reach out to photographers who I admire and speak to them directly and create online friendships with, asking the people who inspire you what inspires them is the best way to understand how it all works.

I think one of the most important things I've got out of the blogging world is the amount of inspiration reading other peoples blogs give me. Pinterest can be completely overwhelming sometimes and we all know its not really how life is but blogs (depending on which ones you read) are by real people potentially living just around the corner (this has actually happened) who are sharing stuff that is real to them. 
Over the past 3 or so months I've been telling more people in my real life about The Only Place which faces its positives and negatives-  the encouragement is completely overwhelming but trying to explain blogging to someone is one hell of a conversation!
Something that I can't quite believe is that I've recently had a job interview mainly thanks to the work I'm putting out on here, crazy! I have to say I've never felt so comfortable in an interview before!

So that's my blogging story and even though I go through periods of losing my mojo or having doubts about what I'm doing, I will have this to look back on and see how far I've come since picking up that camera again.

Too sentimental? Maybe. But isn't blogging great?!

12 comments :

  1. Blogging is so great! That sucks about the negative feedback on your photos, I get that sort of thing sometimes at work from people outside the organisation viewing my stuff and criticizing it like crazy. They don't know it's me, but I still take it to heart and sometimes it makes me think I'm in the wrong job. So yea, that sort of thing is hard to take. But I'm so glad you do blog because it really is just the best :)

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    1. I guess those negative comments give you a thick skin, which is a shame but everyone thinks they are entitled to voice their opinion no matter what, unfortunately! Thanks Freya, feeling a lot of love for blogging recently :) x

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  2. I loved reading this post, it's really interesting to hear why people blog, I only started mine a couple of months ago, originally hoping to get people interested in my jewellery but I also love just sharing new things and the sense of community is really nice as well. Good luck for the future!
    Sophie x

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    1. Thanks, Sophie! I love hearing peoples back stories too, I was a bit unsure whether to share so much but I'm glad you enjoyed reading it :) x

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  3. Always lovely to hear a bit of background story about your blog! I always enjoy reading it :)

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  4. I love your blog! It's so great that you got a job out of it - I'm the same, too. People online can make such hurtful comments without even considering that there is a person behind those photographs, but I'm glad you can look forwards and forget the haters! x

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    1. Yeah me too, i think its difficult when you put work out there and its criticised and you're totally not prepared for it. I certainly have a thicker skin now anyway! x

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  5. Ah, the 'wordy' post you were talking about! Always interesting to hear a bit of back storying behind bloggers and how they got into it. Glad you got your photography mojo back!

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  6. Not too sentimental at all. Keep it real. Always!! Best way to blog!

    You have a lovely blog & your photography is great. Glad the bad monsters didn't get to you permanently:-)
    I'm Tina. Nice to meet you.

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    1. Thanks Tina, very kind of you to say. Lovely to meet you too :)

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