I'm going to be making some changes in my approach to photography, as well as the digital content I create & share here on this website and on social media. I wanted to explain to you all what these changes are and why I am making them. I think that's important.
For almost 2 years now, my wife and I have shared our travel & nature photography on our @ExploreDiscoverInspire Instagram account. I suppose it was back in 2014, after Lois and I got married and started travelling more, that I became more passionate about photography. Although I have always loved taking photos, I guess it was my love of travel and discovery that introduced me properly to the world of photography, and that lead to my wife and I starting Explore Discover Inspire.
Initially we just wanted to create a place to share our photos and hopefully inspire people with them in some way. Soon after creating our Instagram account, I set up a website and started this blog or "Diary" to document and write about some of our travels. I've always been a little bit obsessed with documenting things, so I was quite happy to write about the things we saw and experienced, for myself (if nobody else).
As I prepared content and wrote about some of our stories and experiences, I also began including advice and recommendations on travel for different places around the world. Weirdly enough, I think this was the point where I started to quietly and unknowingly drift away from the photographer I actually wanted to become, and why that now some changes are in order.
So let me get to the point...
The content we (you and I) create, and the position we take within this mad digital world, it defines, or determines the type of "creator" or "artist" that we become... Or at least the one we are viewed as by others online, and ultimately offline - or as I like to call it, "in real life".
That is why I'm making some changes.
It was never my goal or my intention to become (or to be viewed as) a "digital creator" or a "travel blogger", or someone who just takes pretty photographs to share online and become "Instagram Famous". Hell no! Photography means far too much to me for that to be true.. But there's a fine line I feel between creating content "for an online audience" and creating beautiful and meaningful art. Some may say you can do both, but quite honestly, if I'm creating for an online audience, I'm creating something that's not worth much to me personally, and probably not much to anyone else in reality.
The trouble is, with the vast majority of online audiences, they want to be instantly entertained, they want to connect, consume and pass on by... that's just how it is. And I don't want to put my time and my heart into something like that. Call me old fashioned, but I'm not in this for the followers, for the fame or for the money.
So I feel that if I continue to produce content that sits within those "digital creator" type categories, I will lose my direction as an artist and never reach my potential.
So... one CHANGE I am making is to return this blog (The Diary) to it's original purpose. Which is a place where I document and share stories, thoughts on photography, as well my personal projects & creative work. I will no longer create "travel blogs" here on bydangardner.com as to provide advice or itineraries. I'm sorry. That ship has sailed.
Another CHANGE I'll be making is to my main body of work and the paths I pursue. Over the last 12 months I have realised a lot about what actually means something to me, what I am truly passionate about, and why I do what I do. I've been able to identify and separate what I create just for fun, and what I create with real purpose and meaning.
Hence, in January 2020 I started a new Instagram account - @byDanGardner - to share the work that means something to me - in the hope that in time it can be acknowledged and appreciated.
Since then, my process, style and what I seek to capture, document & represent has changed quite a lot. After years of taking photos I finally feel that I have found my direction as a photographer and understand what I have to offer... or "my voice" so to speak.
So with all this in mind - and understanding the separation between "my work as an artist" and "what I create for fun", this website and this blog will now be home to the work I attach real purpose to, the personal projects I take on, and other creative pursuits that I consider separate to 'Explore Discover Inspire'.
In regards to Instagram:
@byDanGardner - will be my main account where I share all my work and artistic projects
@ExploreDiscoverInspire - will remain the account my wife and I share our travel and nature photography
So that's what has changed.
Change is good.
Here's to an inspiring 2021!
Thanks for stopping by!