Attraction and Attachment

Almost as soon as I finished yesterday’s post about photography being easy and effortless, I was immediately reminded, that there is an inescapable flip-side to this narrative called…hard work.

I know that especially here, in this space, most of you look at my photos with appreciating and admiring eyes and think to yourselves, “Of course photography is easy for you, Jack, you were born an artist, and it comes so natural to you.”

And while a tiny part of this narrative is true, most of how I got to where I am, in photography today, is a result of brought sweat and not gene pool, nurture and not nature.

In other words, my good fortune is photography, is born not so much out of the stars in the skies but the stars in my eyes-hard word, determination, tireless experimentation, indefatigability, pertinacity, bulldog spirit.

It struck me, loud and clear, as I was out shooting yesterday, that there is a colossal gap between attraction and attachment in photography.

Attraction is the action or power of evoking interest, pleasure or liking someone or something.

Attachment is the deeper interest to that attraction.

Attraction is the dating and shagging part, here today, gone tomorrow.

Attachment is the day-in-day-out commitment, devotion, dedication to that attraction.

Most people have an attraction to photography but not an attachment to it.

Attraction comes from photography being cool, convenient, and popular. But attachment to photography comes from a covenantal pact and pledge to diligence, conscientiousness, enthusiasm, zeal, unswerving and unremitting effort.

Anyone can, temporarily, be attracted to anyone or anything. But it takes never-tiring single-mindedness to turn attraction into attachment.

Just like relationships in life, the good stuff, I mean the really good stuff, only comes from surrendering to unwearyingly and indomitable exertion, muscle, toil, trouble, labor, elbow grease, rinse and repeat.

Is photography a labor of love or a love of labor? Both?

You will never really know photography’s mysteries and magic until you turn your attraction into attachment.



Jack Hollingsworth