As I write this I’m just getting home from handing in the keys to my photography studio after an afternoon of hauling two car-fulls of stuff off to the local thrift store. This change in my life has spawned a lot of questions, pretty much the same one over and over, so I apologize if you asked and I didn’t respond. The general question I keep getting is: Why? Well, here’s my answer: No, I’m not closing my business; no, I’m not having financial problems … yes, I’m still doing stock photography; and yes, I’m moving (eventually, but no solid plans yet). Nothing in my life has changed other than the fact that I now no longer have a studio.
I’ve been working towards minimizing the “stuff” in my life over the past few months and my studio was one of those things that just needed to go. A big part of that decision was based on the fact that I do plan on moving far enough away to where I won’t be able to use it. Also, a lot of my photography lately has been food, something I can easily do from my living room, so having a studio just slowly started to become more of a burden than a benefit.
But, outside of my professional life I’ve been trying to get rid of as much stuff as I can. You wouldn’t know it by the looks of my apartment at the moment … my living room is cluttered with tripods, reflectors and food props, not to mention the addition of two tables I still need to strategically position around my couch so I don’t have to squish around them to get to the kitchen. I’m also programmed to keep almost every product box (TV, computer, etc.) for when I move again, which seems to be much more frequent than I expected (I think that carries over from my “move every three years” military days). I basically still have way too much stuff in my life.
Clearing my life of clutter has been something that has been on my mind for several months now, but it really hit home with my studio. I had all this stuff leftover that I needed to get rid of and badly wanted (needed?) gone. All it was causing me was stress. Stuff was causing me stress. Excess, random bits of things that I was no longer using and had no attachment to. Not only was it was causing me stress but it was also costing me time, precious time that I seem to have less and less of these days.
One thing that I’ve learned is that being a photographer is not a good profession to be in if you don’t want to turn into a hoarder. As a stock photographer I would cling to anything I might use in a photograph, and most of the time it just ended up on a shelf collecting dust. Thankfully with my focus on food photography my collection of props has dwindled to silverware, dishes and napkins, all of which are a lot easier to organize. A storage shelf full of food props and a corner filled with camera gear and lights won’t bother me … the rest has got to go.
Maybe I’ve watched one too many episodes of “Hoarders”, or maybe I’m just trying to physically, maybe also metaphorically cleanse my life of all the excess baggage that I have that’s weighing me down … because once it’s gone it feels sooooo good. It will take time, but every box that gets hauled out to the thrift store is one less weight on my shoulder to carry around. I’ll never be an extreme minimalist (and don’t want to be) but I’ll definitely have a very clean house, mind and soul when I’m finished.
Wish me luck :)