I recently read a blog entry written by Brooke Shaden a photographer who's work I really enjoy and admire. I find her work very evocative and inspiring as well as her writings.
She shared that recently during a workshop she was teaching she was showing pieces of her early work and here is some of what she stated -
" I decided to open up my Flickr page to show the very first images I ever created. I like those images. I am proud of the work that I did to create them and I like sharing them with people. There are, however, images on my Flickr that I would rather not show people. So why, then, do I not delete them?
Keeping images there that I have grown out of are a constant reminder of how things used to be, and how things will always be.There will always be images that I grow out of. The pictures that I love now might be ones that I am embarrassed of later. Who knows! But the fact remains that no matter how we come to feel about our work in the future, it is meaningful in the here and now. It documents our journeys, it gives insight into our learning curve, and it reminds me that I will always have a lot more work to do."
On occasion I go to my own Flickr page. I spend some time looking through my work and see what I have done. Some good. Some not so good. I too; as Brook shared, have considered deleting my old uploads but I cannot.
Flickr for me is a journal of sorts.
It allows me to see where I started as a photographer. Technical skill was not my strong suit early on. I still struggle with this today but I can see where educating myself and practice has made great improvements.
To help me learn, I joined groups that gave weekly themes to develop a particular skill or enabled me to train my eye to see the world differently. It also encouraged me to experiment a little bit more as in the example below.
In the case of the image above I decided to not to take my Canon with me to NYC and only use my iPhone for photos.
Each step of the way has pushed me. Has made me work harder and try new things.
I have also learned that there is still so much more that I have to learn and want to learn.