Category: Personal

Photograph today

I’m currently building a new portfolio website to show off the best of what I’ve done over the past 10 years. While searching for images I found the one above and it got me thinking. This is from my dad’s house after he died. All I have is this photo now. I have nothing in that photo except of course myself and I look like some ghostly figure passing through someones life. I’m not there anymore. I’m here now. His life isn’t accessible to me anymore. It’s an odd photo but I’m glad I have this. I’m glad that who I am as a photographer means I’m very aware about the fleeting nature of of our lives, that one day its all gone and it is important to both be in the now and to document it… If that is even possible? I certainly try.

I have a whole series of photos of my parents. A ‘series’. That’s an odd thing to consider that their lives are now personal work to me. Cataloged in Lightroom. Archived for an exhibition one day. Gosh that sounds so absurd. One day all my parents might be is a URL on my website. That doesn’t seem right. I should really gather everything together and produce a book for me. A complete family album.

Anyway. Just remember its important to photograph the bad as much as the good. It’ll be gone one day.

Struggle

There’s a Nintendo Switch game I need to find time to play called Celeste. I’ve heard it’s a challenging but rewarding game about a young woman trying to climb a mountain. What I heard recently was that it’s actually a game that discusses anxiety, depression and the struggle to achieve something.

I wonder if with people openly talking about anxiety and depression will children grow up in a better future? Will they grow up accepting the struggle of trying to achieve something knowing it’s not easy but it is rewarding?

The struggle is the process in some ways. I listened to a podcast about Back to the Future the other day where they said the first draft of the script was a very bad movie involving a fridge as the time machine. The process, the struggle, of honing that script to develop it into an actual movie took it from this laughable idea to one of the most iconic joyous films ever. Sure it all sucks, its heartbreaking and you just want to throw in the towel but if you keep at it you get somewhere.

Thing is, all this is great on paper (screen). It’s so easy to read this and to type this. In practice though it’s so easy to throw in the towel. I run every day to remind myself every damn day that I can achieve something. I’ve achieved a few things in my life. I’ve ran a marathon. I’ve had numerous exhibitions of my work. I’ve published books. I’ve travelled. Those are all great things but those achievements never seem to stick. It always fells like I’m at the bottom of a mountain trying to get up it.

Maybe that’s half the point. I’m still trying to accept struggle as reality. I’m still trying to accept that it’s not easy to get somewhere but you can get somewhere. I know to put the hours in. I am putting the hours in. But it’s so so easily undone by opening social media and seeing 1 single post that knocks you right back down the mountain. So you pull up your socks but then an email comes in and you are floored again.

I didn’t become a good runner or swimmer by watching YouTube. I got good at those things by struggling through a process. It’s ok to find things hard. It’s by doing them that you get better. This is as much a reminder to myself as it is to you reading this.

Remember to take a minute now and then enjoy the view on the way up though :)

What you leave behind

When my dad died I was left with a very strange question. Where does the Carr family go from here? It’s an odd question for many reasons. We don’t have kids so where does the family line go from here? What happens to our family photos and memories when I die? I can sort of understand the pressure on people back in historical times to have children to pass everything on to. I guess it’s a form of immortality. But we don’t have kids and my career hasn’t changed the world enough to leave a dent in the universe. At some point I will die and I will take my family with me. That’s a very very very odd thought. Read More

Camera gear

I should be on a train right now heading to Birmingham with friends to play with camera gear. I’m not. Instead I’ve been for a run and I’m thinking about cameras. I don’t want to be thinking about cameras. I want to be thinking about things to point cameras at.Read More

Every day running

A few weeks ago, well years ago, I set myself the challenge of running every day. I’m just about getting into that groove. The first week I did every other day. The second week I did every day but Monday as that was a swim recovery day. This week I’m doing every day except Sunday as I swim then. If I’m tired I need to do it more. Read More

Christmas

(Featured image: A blizzard over NYC, 2016.)

I wrote a post the other day about my issues with Christmas. Basically my parents gave me magical Christmases and without them I’m finding it hard to see the season as the “most wonderful time of the year.” It’s just Monday to me. It was a bit of a depressing post as you can imagine. I kind of wrote myself into a corner and didn’t know how to come back and end on a happy note. But it certainly got me thinking about Christmas and I think I’ve figured it out.

What I want for Christmas is time to scan old family photographs. That’s it. I just want to sit down and scan. I’ve got a lot to get through and 2018 is my year of decluttering. What better way to start? I know binning family photos may seem odd but the Minimalists have taught me “Our memories are within us, not within our things”. I’ll have all the photos with me every day on my phone which is more than I can say for now. Most of all I’ll have time to actually catch up with the ones I love(d). I miss my parents a hell of a lot. This way I get to spend some lost time with them.

I hope you all have a nice Christmas. Remember that it’s whatever you damn well want it to be. Just be excellent to one and other. If you need some mental health tips there’s a great post on the blog We All Mad Here about dealing with Christmas.