That Was Then, This Is Now. / by Danny Montemayor

Every first day of the year, I feel the need to write about something both reflective and prospective. I just finished my first semester of college, and I’m currently thinking of all the things I want from 2015. So I think I have a good amount of things to share.

I’d like to think my college experience is unique even though people around the world are sharing the same set of experiences. For the last five months, I met wonderful people, met not-so-wonderful ones, saw brand new places I am now familiar with, stressed about school work, and celebrated good grades because they mean so much more than they ever have.  Of course, college is nothing like my last year of high school: a stroll in the park. However, college is not the Hunger Games I expected it to be.  I’m still trying to form a description of what college is for me, but as of now, in contrast to high school, college work is interesting and rewarding, and nothing about it seems unproductive.  My school life and my regular life have merged together. Now, I’m always conscious about lessons, tuition, budgeting, and time.  My life isn’t as socially eventful as it was in senior year but when I do get the chance to take a break, it’s more meaningful.

For this New Year, like any new year, I want what most people (should) want, improvement.  This has always been a difficult thing for me because it’s hard to better once you’re the best. Sike. I have several goals for myself (grades, health, time management, etc…), but there is one thing I found worth sharing.

I really miss my passion for photography, but I also want to recuperate my passion to something better than it turned out to be. Earlier this year, I wrote about my struggle as an artist, which was my way of venting all the frustrations from disapproval and my work being taken for granted. One thing I did not share in that post was my permeating insecurity with my work.  I’m humbled by all the kind words I receive and honored to have been chosen to photograph such amazing people, but all the kudos and business became something I used to measure my growth as a photographer. There is nothing wrong with compliments and turning your talent into something lucrative, I encourage that for anyone. The problem with using success as a metric for artistic growth is that my life was too busy to make time for my medium.  For so long “no excuses” stuck in my head to really emphasize the lack of work I was producing.  After moving houses two weeks after graduation and starting college, photography was the last thing on my mind.  Any work that I did share was a forced attempt to encourage myself. I didn't love taking pictures anymore because even though clients and friends appreciated my work, none of those images impressed me. I was too eager about composing a stellar image that I forgot to chillax and appreciate the process of taking pictures. So the post from last May that was intended to create a leeway for unapologetic artistry was nothing more but words, until now.  Long story short, these last few months that I took to focus on school was a great step back to rethink what I want to do with this whole art form. Honestly, I’m still ideating my photography, but this time I want to learn from my mistake of pressuring myself. Photography has always came naturally to me because I anticipated the process, not just the outcome.

Day One For My 365

Day One For My 365