Jon Billings Photography

Where I Am.

Getting My Feet Wet Again...



This week, I went on my first photo hunt of 2019. It took me sometime to get here.

You see, every winter is tough for me. It’s when work gets really crazy with lobster season starting and working 70+ hours a week for two months. Living on an island can make you feel secluded. Living on an island during East Coast winters can make you feel REALLY, REALLY secluded. These, coupled with some other things, makes winter seasons some of the toughest times I’ve experienced.

However, this past winter seemed especially tough towards the end.

This my sixth winter on Grand Manan, and over the course of this time I have become aware of this seasonal trend in my mood/emotions and do my best to mitigated it, but sometimes it seems like it is going to happen regardless.


A Season of doubt.

What winter means for my photography and creativity.

My camera sits idle, basically from November until the snow leaves, almost every winter. My “creative hibernation” has some positive and negative effects on my mental perception of my photography.

The extended time away from behind the lens leads me to become super critical of what I do. Even though I may not have the time or the mindset to get out and shoot, I see so many talented people producing amazing pieces and become hyper critical of my own ability. I feel that I am wasting time not honing my craft, striving to get better, staying sharp. Even though I know that this period comes to an end, it’s hard to keep that in perspective, especially right at the tail end of it.

But seasons change, and when they do you can feel it. This week I started to feel it, I started to feel a weight lifted and some excitement for what is to come. You see, when the season starts to lift, there’s a struggle that starts. A struggle to find my creative voice again, to realize that I know what I am doing despite everything discouraging I told myself over the last few months. The time off actually serves as a reset in some sorts, to the way that I see things. It forces me to challenge the way that I shoot, and rediscover something that I am passionate about.

I tend to simplify the things that I shoot. Get back to some of the basic reasons as to why I got into photograph in the first place. Just to get out in the rain and walk the beaches with my headphones playing some music and get lost in the moment. The break actually helps stop a bad habit I developed over time, of only looking for that “stunning” shot, as opposed to just shoot for the enjoyment of it. It also helps me to challenge my “style” and to evolve my process around photos.

I’m sure that I’m not alone in the way that winter makes me feel. But spring is coming. Get back into the things that you enjoy and use the excitement of the changing season to push you to re-visit the things that you wish still did. The things that help put life into perspective.

Get out and get your feet wet again.

Jon BillingsComment