Fine Art Photography Daily

2012: It was a very good year….

My head has been swimming with ideas about today’s post–perhaps a Best Of listing or favorite images of 2012…but I am sort of tired of all of that and am more interested in non-visual thinking today.

The end of the year New York Times Magazine is always a fantastic issue, and one of the highlights for me in yesterday’s magazine was reading “Lessons For The Living From The Departed”.  Here are a few tidbits….

Written by Edith Zimmerman about author Erica Kennedy:

“I don’t blame anyone for having high expectations of me,” she once said, “but it all goes back to what does “having it all” mean? Does it mean having some fancy title, executive perks, making a lot of money, having your book on the best-seller list? 
Or does it mean waking up and looking forward to your day, whatever you make of it?”
AlineSmithson_The Leap

Written by Maria Popova about author Ray Bradbury:

Shortly before his 90th birthday, when asked which moment of his life he’d return to were time travel possible, Ray Bradbury told his interviewer: “Every. Single. Moment. Every single moment of my life has been incredible. I’ve loved it, I’ve savored it, it’s been beautiful — because I’ve remained a boy.” Bradbury was a rare and necessary antidote to the tortured-genius myth — that toxic cultural narrative that requires great creators to suffer lest their work have no depth, no gravitas, no legacy. 
Bradbury left high school with plans of going to college, but no money. So he set out to educate himself by going to the library three days a week, a regimen he continued for 10 years, never romanticizing poverty or the so-called writer’s life. Instead, he celebrated the joy of writing itself. In 1951, living in Los Angeles with his wife two and two infant daughters, he got a bag of dimes and rented a typewriter in the U.C.L.A. basement for 10 cents a half-hour. He wrote “Fahrenheit 451” for $9.80. 
His secret? “You remain invested in your inner child by exploding every day. You don’t worry about the future, you don’t worry about the past — you just explode.”
Things I Don't Understand

For myself, it’s been a wonderful year.  So many unexpected opportunities, so many new experiences and friendships, and lots of new insights into my own work and the idea of being a photographic artist. I didn’t finish any projects, but worked hard at some new ones, and it’s been a year where most of the best work was made in my head, not through the lens. So at year end, I have just a couple of simple thoughts….

It’s OK to step back from the roar of the crowd.  I think we should create one day a week where we stay off the Internet, off our phones, and begin to hear our inner voices again while strolling through a museum or staying in our pajamas all day reading the New York Times. We become more interesting people when we shift our focus even slightly.

It’s OK to fail.  You learn more from failure, than from success. It becomes a time to take stock and reassess. Success is fleeting anyway…it’s all about being true to yourself and making the best work possible.  And often, your best work rises from the ashes of failure, when you change directions.

It’s OK not to show up at every party and to submit to every opportunity.

Don’t be so serious.  We need more humor in our lives and in our work.

Holding Shit

So here’s to a wonderful 2013….a year of creativity, of peace, of kindness, of growth.  Thank you for your support and friendships, your wonderful photographs, and most importantly, for being a community that has enriched my life profoundly.

Check in tomorrow for the 4th annual Favorite Images of the Year post…

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