I don’t go out to snap photos nearly as much as I used to. But then again, that’s actually pretty normal for me. I go through these constant cycles of taking a bunch of photos, then taking a long break, then taking more, and then disappearing again…it’s a miracle that I’ve managed to stay afloat above 100 followers on Instagram for as long as I have. Really.
I blame Pokemon Go. It’s hard to take world-shattering pictures and catch dank ‘mons at the same time.
But despite how long the break, I always grapple with one thing in particular while I’m out taking shots, and that’s redundancy. The notion that I’ve been to a particular spot already, and any end product I can shape from that repetition is very much just a rehash of what I’ve already formed from that spot before.
For me, with certain spots, there are only so many times you can revisit a spot before you start thinking that you’ve already taken more than you can ask out of it. The seasons change, the lighting shifts by the hour, the people in frame change faces, change names, but the feeling is realized, and there’s only so many times you can ask to borrow that from a particular place before the song turns into a low drone, and the message is lost in the familiarity of a scene seen too many times before.
So you move to the next thing, and the cycle repeats.
But therein lies the beauty of being someone who creates, and being someone who sticks with their brand of art long enough to see the images start to sharpen, the notes start to ring, the words start to sing. You come back to that place after being to so many other places, when the message isn’t as clear as they days you visited day after day, back to back. You’re a bit older now, a bit different, a bit more ready to look at it some other way.
And you do it all again.
Go back to that old spot. Find that forgotten draft. Pick that half-done song up from the chorus. Find the new in the old.
It’s surprising the kind of inspiration you’ll find in the things you’ve already done.