I love what I do unconditionally. For the longest time I only focused on what other people thought of my work, and I used to get intensely depressed if I didn't get a good reception for what I was doing. I used to beat myself up at every turn because I made bold and reckless decisions when it came to the directions I wanted to take with my work and then feel guilty when not many people saw my work in the same light as I did. I used to hate what I would create because of the people I was asking about it.
I love what I do unconditionally. That mentality tends to land me in a lot of trouble more often than not, because my absolute love for the act of photography distracts me from a lot of responsibilities that I have. Don't get me wrong, I show up for work on time and I deliver clients images to them on time, but every time I am doing something other that taking photographs of people I am counting down the time until I get to do it again. The equations, the process, the communication, the control, the personalities that I meet; all of it is just so fucking beautiful, and it is the only thing I have found on this earth that makes me feel full.
I know logically that I am not the best photographer on earth, hell, I personally don't even think I'm the best in my city, but I do believe that I love what I do more than most. I know for a fact that my life is about what I create with that camera and I know that every time I pick it up and put it to my face, I am putting my entire soul into it. I know that the act of photography has been the only thing that keeps me from submitting to a horrendous and unrelenting depression that has plagued me for at least a decade. I know that I have neglected family, and friends, and significant others because all I wanted to do was pick up my camera and take photographs and for that I apologize.
I hope that the people whom I tell I love believe me, even though I would rather hear the sound of a shutter click than play a video game or watch a movie. I hope that my parents understand that even though I may seem like a socially reclusive workaholic, it's because nothing brings me more joy than sitting up at 4 AM going over the sets I shot from the previous day. I hope that my past relationships may read this and understand that the reason I was so depressed was because I was letting you stand in front of what I love doing, and that made me miserable.
I love what I do unconditionally. It has taken me almost a decade to finally accept that and breathe that through. I am in debt, I am single, I am not sure about any career advancement in the coming years, I'm exhausted 80% of the time, and I don't even own a TV; but I don't care because I am the absolute fucking happiest I have ever been and I would not want it any other way.
I am no longer going to apologize for what I do, I am no longer going to try and stifle myself just because I want the adoration and affection of the general public. Not because I don't want to hear everyones opinions and reflect upon them, but just because I have realized now that trying to create something in someone elses vision is silly and will never get you anywhere. My name is Allan Brunke, I am a professional photographer and a professional artist, and I am never, ever going to stop doing what I love.
If you take anything away from this blog post, please take away that if you love something, just do it every chance you have no matter what people may say. Take the risk, skip out on something important if it means doing something else that will make your soul feel full, let your heart shine through whatever it is you're doing. You are all beautiful and wonderous human beings, and I encourage you to let the world see who you are, recklessly and without apology.
Cultivate Positivity, Always.