good friends

david, an old friend of mine, drove me around the hometown a bit last week, with no real purpose but to catch up and see if i can capture any good shots around Rockville. it was a good time, and much needed after a few months of feeling a little erratic in my work and personal life.

and all of this is really to say that i’ve been encountering some roadblocks lately and maybe i’ve run out of things to say in a creative sense but this recent visit back home showed me that’s not true. there are details or aspects that are different each time i physically capture an image, but ultimately it’s the same feelings, the same perspectives, the same emotions every time in my work. 

if anything, i’m reinvigorated 

on self-doubt

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” 

i was talking to a friend about this quote recently, and it’s absurdly relevant in this day and age. it’s so easy to lose yourself in the endless stream of content made by people far more talented than you, who seemingly have their shit together. your appreciation for beautiful work always outpaces your ability, and it’s hard not to judge yourself harshly amid the crushing chaos of meticulously curated content.

i am often filled with doubts about my work, and the idea that if i’m not creating amazing content at all hours of day, then i’m washed up and my time has passed. but i have to remind myself that i am not those other people, nor will i ever be. and as long as i can imbue my work with elements of myself and my values, then that’s all that really matters. if my work can make real connections with other people, then that’s beautiful in it of itself.

i think it’s important to remember that everyone supports your creative endeavors when they have the time, opportunity and inclination and the fact that it happens at all is wholly beautiful.

when i see beautiful work from talented artists, my reaction is no longer self-loathing. it’s alright to be a little jealous - as long as that jealousy does not fuel loathing - and is instead used as a catalyst for growth.

i love everyone that makes shit - whether you’re a writer, painter, sculptor, ANY creative - for even trying to tap into the occasional magic.

on film

shot my first roll of film. and let me tell you, I get it. I understand why people still swear by film photography in the age of digital cameras.

sure, I had to wait a bit to see the final product, but that taught me patience.

sure, I had a limited amount of physical film to use, but that taught me how to shoot with intent.

sure, I totally screwed up my settings and focus in a few shots, but that taught me that I still have a lot to learn and master

even though this isn’t my best work, it’s reigniting a lot of creative possibilities within me and I can’t wait to focus on developing my work in the new year.

if you’re to ask me what the theme of 2019 is for my photography, it’s this: back-to-basics.

enjoy these shots, I can’t wait to look back on these and see how much I’ve improved down the line

[for all you nerds out there, this was shot on a Nikon Fe2 with a 50 mm lens and Portra 400 film]

first shot/first roll

Copyright © 2019 HwongExposure All rights reserved.
Using Format