Double lives and photography
Does anybody here feel as though they are leading double lives?
Let me explain. My "official" job is as an engineer, and by day I come across as a somewhat eccentric but well-adjusted person. At work I am relatively private about my personal life but today a coworker and I got onto the topic of hobbies and I spilled the beans on my photography passion.
When I told him, he was extremely surprised. I think his exact words were "I never expected you to be a photographer" (although I'm not sure what that means haha).
This got me to thinking; it made me feel as though I am part Jekyll and part Hyde. Espicially since there is a growing gap between the art and technological world. Walking down the street most people wouldn't suspect anything, unless they saw me carrying around my camera, because during the day I come across as a normal guy.
But by night I turn into a bit of a Hyde spending hours developing, editing, reading about photography, watching photography documentaries and tutorials, going to galleries, attending lectures, etc. And I've noticed a big difference between how I conduct myself among professional colleagues and people I meet in the art world.
For the amateurs and hobbyists on this forum, do you guys feel the same way? I almost feel like any passion pursued outside someone's normal, professional life might lend them to feel as though they are living life with split personalities.
Also, I'm not crazy (I don't think) :P
Tron, I don't think you are crazy, as I think most people have some creative urge that manifests itself in something outside what they may do for a living. Sometimes you can mix and talk to a person for years and then at the mention of a certain topic they go off on one. Also, those who do photography for a living often do a completely different form of photography in their spare time. You are not crazy, just normal.
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
No, you're not crazy . . . unless I am too!
I'm a lawyer by day and a photography freak by night. Sometimes I even find time to get out of work and go to the darkroom before the sun sets. My job feeds my family. My photography feeds my soul. I can't imagine anyone feeling so fulfilled by lawyering or engineering or most any other job, that they don't need a creative outlet. I can't even imagine a pro photographer not needing an area of creativity where they are in complete charge of what is made. I'm very glad I'm not a pro photographer, with clients to tell me what they want my work to look like!
But lets face it, the world is in fact full of muggles who don't want or need a creative outlet. Billions of people probably do their jobs or their housework and then retire to the tube to veg out without making anything ever.
I almost wish I was one of those folks, sometimes: cured of this urge to wander the night looking for new blood!
It's normal. My work (Internet and computers) is mostly devoid of nature, history, or spiritual things. I like my work and do it well, but hobbies can exercise the other half of my brain. They can also provide fresh air, exercise, and friends that I wouldn't get at work.
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Another one here. I work in IT (networking and information security) during the day and photography the rest of the time.
Well, I actually feel like I have triple personalities...
1. Work/school personality. I work in marketing for a large corporation, and it's a pretty rigid and kind of formulated existence. Driven by goals partially set by others, and in the interest of the shareholders or the grander interest.
2. Photography - where my photography glasses and brain are always engaged to soak up information or something I can learn from. What I learn benefits me, and there are no rules to how I think or explore. Party time!
3. Family personality - where I let the guard down, have fun, and let go of both my photography and work/school brain, and just focus on enjoying life (or being responsible with it).
I think it's normal for people to have this type of role play living at work and in school, while at home with family, or working our passions, we can let our personalities run more free to balance out the rigor at work.
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
Most of my coworkers know I take pictures, and understand that I will provide a home for an unwanted film camera. It doesn't get discussed much. I realize that when I acquire a "new" old camera, that telling them about it is noting more than an exercise in frustration for both of us. I just show them a picture I think they will like, now and then. It would be nice to have another employee to talk photography with.
Most people at my job aren't really surprised by any interests or hobbies I have, even if they deviate from the IT work I do. Perhaps they don't pigeon-hole others, or maybe they just think I'm weird so anything goes. We are not a close bunch, but we don't always talk "shop," so each knows the others have interests outside of our careers.
When I was working, everyone knew I did photography outside work (and frequently at work, though not aesthetically pleasing stuff there). It was a good balance for being immersed in microscopes, Infrared spectrometers, gas chromatographs, and crime scenes. Since leaving, I happened to talk with someone I never got along with at work (we were not in the same unit, he's a trooper, I was a civilian) and found that we had a lot in common as he uses Speed and Crown graphics outside work. I never pegged him as a film shooter, but he was. And he never knew I was into larger formats. It's actually a minor miracle that we had a nice conversation about it because we nearly came to blows on many occasions at work.