I'm finding photography purposeless.

mjcmt

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I'm retired and will turn 70 in a month. I've shot photos seriously since the 1980s, except for a 6 year hiatus.
In the last 10 yrs I've post a few to Flickr here and there. My wife will look at some of them if I call her over. I have no kids to pass on my body of work. I'm discouraged w/ photography asking myself...why? I enjoy shooting and simple editing as a creative outlet but it seem pointless. So I'm thinking of selling my gear and get something really small and basic like Nikon Z30 w/ small kit lens, or similar, so I don't ask my self... why do this hobby and what to do with all these decades of photographs.
Does anyone else feel this way?
 

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Yes several times in my life, the latest this spring through now. I’m only a year younger than you and have been doing serious photography, (at least to me), since the early 70’s.

Life gets in the way from time to time, when the kids were little I mostly dropped the “art” shots for family snaps. I will be retiring this year and wanted to get back to the joy I felt “back in the day”.

The latest life event that has taken the wind out of the photo sails was my son coming down with leukemia, until we can get him back healthy I just don’t feel very creative.

So yeah I know where you’re coming from. I hope to get back at it and build a catalog of my work for whom ever wants to look at it someday.
 
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mjcmt

mjcmt

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Yes several times in my life, the latest this spring through now. I’m only a year younger than you and have been doing serious photography, (at least to me), since the early 70’s.

Life gets in the way from time to time, when the kids were little I mostly dropped the “art” shots for family snaps. I will be retiring this year and wanted to get back to the joy I felt “back in the day”.

The latest life event that has taken the wind out of the photo sails was my son coming down with leukemia, until we can get him back healthy I just don’t feel very creative.

So yeah I know where you’re coming from. I hope to get back at it and build a catalog of my work for whom ever wants to look at it someday.
I haven't stopped taking photos. It just seems that the hobby is meaningless. I'm the only one that enjoys the photos I create.
 

limr

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I haven't stopped taking photos. It just seems that the hobby is meaningless. I'm the only one that enjoys the photos I create.

Isn't that meaning enough? Is meaning only gained through the distribution of a final product? Or external validation or approval of the final product? Or can it be found in the simple enjoyment of the process and result?
 
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cgw

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"I enjoy shooting and simple editing as a creative outlet..."

So let that be your MO and just leave it there for now.

Try shooting what you don't routinely. Lots of attractive stuff on your flickr page. You're no slouch.
 
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snowbear

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Hobbies are for personal enjoyment. If you like doing something, then continue; if it's no longer fun, then do something else.
 

cgw

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A much-loved but sarcastic associate routinely stabs me with this:

"Art without commerce is just a hobby."

And there's nothing wrong with that. My workspace is verbal and contentious. I find photography takes me elsewhere--pleasantly. The odd shot sold confirms I'm still just a hack.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday.
 
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Peeb

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I've got a couple of dandies that I've printed big and put on the wall. Another couple I've given as gifts. They'll outlive me, but in the end, we are all dust, no?

I just shoot to make me happy. I post a few here to get feedback and some attaboys. A bad day shooting photos beats a good day digging ditches!
 

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I haven't stopped taking photos. It just seems that the hobby is meaningless. I'm the only one that enjoys the photos I create.
we all enjoy your photos ... but i do understand completely.. my husband has no interest in photography.. and like your wife ...only comes over to look if i call him over.. but so what really.. he has his fish hobby.. i use to be interested in that too..but now he has to call me over to look.. and i only look with my camera in my hand..lol.. Let it feel good to you.. let this be your enjoyment.. don't forget we are striving for that great one!!
 
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mjcmt

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Thanks everyone. I'd like to find meaning in it again.
 

Warfarin

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I get it. I have thousands of photos nobody but me has seen. My wife could care less. My kids look when they want something specific for a scrap book or album. One reason I take so many pictures is because my memory has gone to crap and without them I don’t remember much. So they help me there. I have no clue what will happen to my negatives and raw files when I kick it. But at that point I won’t care anymore. I am finding joy again by teaching my grandkids and watching them “get” it. Since you don’t have that option maybe you could find a 4H (or something similar) club and donate your time to help kids learn the craft.
 

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I just shoot to make me happy. I post a few here to get feedback and some attaboys. A bad day shooting photos beats a good day digging ditches!
Indeed, I’m 71 & have been using a camera and associated technology to make or take photographs since the late 60’s. And, my wife & others are unlikely to show unprompted interest in “my” photographs. Regardless, I do it for the enjoyment of a long-time avocation—for me.

Have ever enjoyed “event” photography—where you often can’t compose a photo and have to “find” it among the action (for online newsletters/newspapers) or “document” people participating (for the subjects, perhaps for a fee if that’s important). Some events lend themselves to “portrait” photography.

All that requires competent photography—satisfying to me, anyway—and leaves the memory with countless other people.
 

Vic Peek

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I am nearly 75 - I still shoot but not as much as I used to. I have been shooting my high school baseball and football for many years now. I post these on Smugmug and the parents and players can download and use the images as they desire. I get quite a bit of joy and thanks from players, parents and others. Action shots are really appreciated.
 

SquarePeg

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I feel like that sometimes, but in the end, shooting and processing my shots are things that I enjoy doing and if no one appreciates them as much as I do then that’s ok. My family is not interested in my photos but some of my friends are very supportive.

I use Flickr but more for storage than interaction. I find that the last few years I’ve found a great photo community on Instagram. I know many here thumb their noses at it but I’ve made a lot of friends amongst the local photographers and we enjoy shooting together, sharing ideas and inspiring each other. I also enjoy sharing my photos here on TPF and getting feedback from such a diverse group of people.

As for what will happen to all my photos when I’m gone, maybe nothing. But if my daughter wants the prints on our walls or the photo books to keep then great. I order a photo book every couple of years with all my favorites.

I enjoy your photos and hope you continue to share them here.
 

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I'm retired and will turn 70 in a month. I've shot photos seriously since the 1980s, except for a 6 year hiatus.
In the last 10 yrs I've post a few to Flickr here and there. My wife will look at some of them if I call her over. I have no kids to pass on my body of work. I'm discouraged w/ photography asking myself...why? I enjoy shooting and simple editing as a creative outlet but it seem pointless. So I'm thinking of selling my gear and get something really small and basic like Nikon Z30 w/ small kit lens, or similar, so I don't ask my self... why do this hobby and what to do with all these decades of photographs.
Does anyone else feel this way?
I also enjoy shooting as a creative outlet - it would only be pointless if I didn't enjoy it.
 

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