Participation awards

#66: Thoughts on photography and the rewards for participating in your own life


For the next eight weeks through July and August, I’ll roll out weekly issues of Miscellanea due in your inbox Tuesday mornings. I’ll regroup in September and be back for another ‘season’ come October. Thanks for reading!

What photography is like 📸

My personal ambition and narrative of image making, in a few brief thoughts:

  1. I am an architect of nostalgia. Sacrificing participation in a moment in order to document it is the essential burden of my creative practice.

  2. It can be difficult to connect with newer photographs in the way I connect with my ‘darlings’ (old favorites). For an image, there exists an aging requirement – a moment frozen needs time to thaw. A raw photo is an acquaintance; the friendship blossoms the more time you spend with it.

  3. “Intuition is like throwing a spear into the darkness, and intellect is about going to find it afterwards.” — Ingmar Bergman

For more reading on photography, subscribe to my friend Wesley’s newsletter, Process.

Staying engaged with your work 🎯

I’ve written about my work, and think about it often, because it’s important to me to remain engaged with it. I have avoided the 9-5 for a reason: the free-flowing state of the freelance schedule frees me for the impulses I feel are required of creative work.

This is not the only way, of course. Many people feel freed by the structure of their day jobs. But I think no matter who you are, you’re happier when you feel a genuine involvement in the activity of your day-to-day.

Last issue, I wrote about the tensions of doing and being. I made the case for more human being; but it is also clear that you cannot separate the two. Staying engaged with your doing is the best way to be. When we are consumed in the practice of our work, we are then freed to be a part of it. And our work gets better.

Participation awards 🏆

Life begs our participation. As active participants in our own lives, we create a feedback loop of our own volition. Our participation is the reward for our participation.

Think about it 🔗

”Motivation is short lived and doesn't lead to consistent action. If you want to achieve your goals, then you need a plan for exactly when and how you're going to execute on them.”
Achieve Your Goals: Research Reveals a Simple Trick That Doubles Your Chances for Success

”Defining success in infinite rather than finite terms, with broader success criteria, a focus on meaning, experiences and relationships stimulates us to think, behave and connect with others in different and lasting ways.”
The Long Win, Resetting our Perspective on Success

For your pleasure 💆

One of the more pleasurable openings to a song ever, no?

🎧 My Best of 2021 playlist is up to date on both Spotify and Apple Music. Tune in. We’re halfway through the year, though?!

Extra, extra 🎉

Some of my photos were featured in Vogue’s article about the opening of Hotel Saint Vincent – here are some personal favorites from that weekend:

”…If happiness is not found now, where we are, and as we are, there is little chance of it ever being found.”
— Thomas Mitchell, farmer and author