After spending a month purposefully detaching myself from social media, I’ve decided to take my blogging in a brand new direction.
I’m going to be writing a more substantial essay soon about what my tech-free month taught me but in the meantime wanted to share my new photography strategy with you all.
My creative process has always embraced my desire to disconnect from modern-day technology and our constant need to be online. I write poems and create art using typewriters and become absorbed in an un-perfect and un-rushed process that cannot be free from mistakes. Over the last few months, film photography has also found its way back into my life and I ended up spending a lot of my digital detox getting to know my Kodak Colorsnap 35 Auto (c. 1964).
During our evening walks round our local area, I’d take one thoughtful photo on my Kodak and then he’d remain in my bag for the entirety of our outing. I’d await getting my film developed with anticipation, cherishing the original experience itself whole-heartedly, it cementing a place in my memory free from filters and hashtags. The month ended with me enjoying my thirtieth birthday smartphone-free, wandering around Copenhagen hand-in-hand with my fiancé, not taking a single digital photo or updating a single social channel.
After my month free from feeds and phones, I’d fallen in love with my analogue camera and everything it symbolised – getting lost in a creative process, taking things slow, focusing on the moment, appreciating quality over quantity. Experimenting with analogue photography had allowed me to finally seize a concept that I’d spent my entire life striving for… SLOW. I decided that I wanted my blogging – my sharing with the outside world – to focus on creativity, value, quality and most of all, me actually continuing to remain present in life itself.
On 1st May 2018 I decided to live a life less digital and committed myself to only posting un-edited, un-filtered analogue (film) photography on my blog and Instagram. I’ll continue to scan my typewriter poems and artworks (and take clear, digital photos of items sold on my shop) but will no longer capture or share moments of my life using digital cameras or smartphones, and I won’t make alterations to any of my photos with apps or software.
As a digital marketer and blogger I’ve spent almost the entirety of my adult life doing just this – curating and modifying content in a particular way so that it’s best suited to each platform and audience. It’s taken me a long time to stop, step back and ask… when did so much of my time become about presenting my life to others in a way that doesn’t actually reflect how it really is? When did I start spending more time cropping and tagging, and less time breathing and living?
The photo at the top of this blog was taken a few days ago, on a Fujifilm disposable 35mm camera. It was an incredibly warm day but I sought shade beneath a nearby tree which drew my attention because of its autumnal colour. We aren’t used to seeing such fiery oranges in springtime and so these fluttering red leaves stood out boldly in the yellow-green wash of a rapeseed landscape.
Sometimes nature appears to write its own rules, no matter what else is going on around it.