Culling: It's like choosing who I want to be.

So going through some pictures from yesterday’s shoot I had a little epiphany. I FINALLY understand why culling photos is so difficult for me. It is SUCH an emotional process for me. Akin to say, the show the bachelorette. She starts out with a bunch of great ones, and then narrows little by little by seeing which ones fit best for her, proceeds to fall in love with all of them and then has to get rid of them till there’s only one. It’s a heartbreaking process and I go through this EVERY TIME I cull pictures. 

As far as the process…I realize that even when I have a vision coming into a shoot, I always let it develop organically..and I never truly invest or fall in love until AFTER the shoot when I first see the pictures. THAT’S when I fall in love. I know some photogs know what shot they want and then just shoot till they get it, then move on. For me, It’s not like that. Even when I’m shooting to “get the shot” I never feel like it’s good enough when I’m shooting..because it never matches up perfectly with what I had in my mind. So I shoot more until I feel a little happier with what I’ve got. Thinking I only have a few good ones. Then I import and realize there’s so much more good than I thought I had. And it’s hard to choose through them.

As far as the feeling….it’s hard to explain. it’s like I’m finding myself through my photography. Going back through the pictures I shot is like seeing myself through my mind’s eye. I learn so much about my personality and who I am deep down. Even if I don’t know it when I’m shooting, everything comes out when I’m clicking that shutter. The things I am feeling. The things I am longing for. What I want, what I love, what I want to be, what I am and don’t even know it. Every picture I create, while I may not be in it, is like looking in a mirror. It’s a direct reflection of myself. It’s the weirdest yet most amazing feeling, to look in this mirror and see yourself: not the outside, but the inside. Not what you look like, but what you FEEL like. All your hopes, dreams, aspirations, vulnerabilities, insecurities, deepest feelings, innate character traits, all captured in an image and staring right back at you. It makes me feel alive. That’s why I shoot. It’s the closest I’ve ever felt to knowing who I really am and what I have to offer the world. It’s beautiful, and raw, and so transparent. And when I cull, what I’m really doing is choosing the ones that really say what I want to say. That capture the essence of me I want to show. But the rest, even the rejects, they’re as much a part of me as the good ones. They show my flaws and imperfections mostly. And rejecting them…it’s like getting rid of little parts of me. Culling is like choosing who I want to be. The part of me I want to show the world. And it is one of the most difficult things I’ve probably ever had to do.

Does anyone else feel like this?