Stay True To Yourself

Recently I have been…struggling. I feel as though I have slowly begun to lose touch with who I am, with who I want to be in life. Simply put, I have not at all been myself as of late. And it hurts me terribly to think that I am beginning to live a mundane life; a life full of nothing. Yeah, I am only eighteen years old and no, I have not even begun to live my life in the way that many others older than me have. Regardless, I feel inadequate. I have lost sight of myself.

Photography has been my life…

Since I first picked up my DSLR camera back in 2014, I was in love. It was something I had paid for with money out of my own pocket, money that I had saved all my life. Maybe it would have been different, maybe I would not have appreciated this camera as much as I do now, had I bought it this year. Or if it had been gifted to me for my birthday or Christmas or whatever. But when I bought that camera, I traded six hundred dollars for it. For a fifteen year old kid, that is a lot of money and it was the most I had ever spent on myself. Although I have spent more on myself later, that camera still remains one of my most prized possessions. Melanie uses it now to create art – I have been helping her to learn for the past year or so. But it saddens me that I put it aside so quickly, that I stopped creating art with it after only a year of use. With that camera I learned so much of what I know today about light, composition, etc.

But now everything is changing…

I feel as though I have lost sight of myself. I told you that already but it must be understood as deeply as you can possibly understand it. Otherwise there is no point in me writing this, no point in me trying to convey this message to yourself. Back in May of this year I picked up my grandfather’s film camera, a Pentax Spotmatic, and loaded it with Kodak Tri-X 400 film. Beautiful tonalities of blacks and whites come from the film. Or at least that is what I am told for I have not developed any of my film yet. To me, however, it does not matter if I ever see those photographs developed. Although I know that I will be developing them, scanning them onto my computer and showing them to the world, there will always be something special about them.

I don’t expect anyone to understand…

How it feels to take a picture with a film camera, to see it come to life, the image physically emerging from the negative. The way the scene looks so real, so true to the world. Its magical. But its funny too, for as I sit and write this, I may only imagine how it feels to see your images truly emerge into fruition. I have never experienced it for myself and it truly saddens me. Soon enough I will experience this and I will remember the exact moment I have taken every image on that film camera. Even shooting with the camera is something different – you do not think of things in the same way any longer. Every picture you take, every snap of the shutter is money spent. Film truly costs you money. Maybe it is not that much – at six dollars for thirty six photographs, it is roughly sixty cents each – but the money still adds up.

My point is…

I no longer wish to take pretty pictures. I no longer wish to be a photographer.

I am an artist.

In order for me to stay true to myself, in order for me to truly be happy, I need to reevaluate my situation. Mentally I am tired; physically I am drained of inspiration; spiritually I am lost. But I believe everyone needs to get lost at some point in their lifetime in order to find themselves. So that is what I need to be doing: finding myself. More days in nature, less time spent inside. It should do my body good.

Thank You

Cody Schultz

2017