From One Vine to the Other

Casey Neistat is a video producer based in New York City. In 2012 I was so moved by one of his videos that when I hit Singapore with the wedding of my friend Simone, I wanted to emulate him, swimming at the Infinite Pool of the Marina Bay Sands.

The pool is reserved for the guests of the hotel, and I was not staying there, so when I got bumped at the security desk and asked to leave, I said: “no way, if Casey had a swim in that pool, I’m gonna have it too.” The end of the story is that I sneaked in, had a dip in the pool, took great pictures.

I happen to watch more videos by him, probably a couple of episodes of his vlog, and I enjoyed seeing how his life crossed with my friend Teymur for a Mercedes-Benz campaign in Montecarlo. He was playing kind od a cameo in my friend’s Instagram account (or was it on Snapchat? whatever…).

Today Casey announced he decided to end from his daily vlog, with a monolog where he explores how hid career developed and how getting comfortable is the ultimate threat to successful growth.

He uses this beautiful analogy of crossing a jungle swinging from vine to vine, and the only way to get a hold on the next vine is to let go the one you are swinging on.

As a photographer, I think a lot about what’s next regarding creativity, achievement, creation. I hit many walls in my photography journey. I had droughts, where I was unable to find inspiration, and for weeks and months, I did not shoot a single image. I had way too many websites to manage, way too many accounts to update. I tried model photography, and it was a disaster. I fell into the HDR hole, where pictures looked impressive until you publish them and let a week pass. They look complete thrash.

I also went pro with photography for a little while, realizing that taking pictures for a living was not for me. Photography needs to stay a hobby, to be enjoyable. Once I learned to make peace with many of these walls, I started taking it easy, and things began to flow again. I only take pictures when I feel about it; I publish every day out of my archive, I don’t over stress about anything that is photography. It works for me.

The same kind of thoughts applied to blogging. I committed myself to blog every day for a year. So far so good, but there were a few times where I was not sure about what I was doing. Coming up with interesting stuff every day is not that simple. The definition of “interesting” is itself complicated to frame.

It was enough to remember who I was writing for, and things started to get easy again. I’m sorry to disappoint you now, but I don’t write for you. I mostly write for myself, and you are more than welcome if you want to follow along. It makes things easy when I have to pick a topic, length, format. I am not following Google Trends to catch traffic talking about stuff that’s hot right now. I just bookmark interesting pages, save links for later, and pull out of my notes every time I need to.

The journey so far has been intense, very rewarding but most of all, fun.

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