No resolutions, please!

No resolutions, please!

This used to be my resolution time. I sat at my desk and evaluated my successes and failures of the passing year. Then, I would jot down my New Year’s resolutions. It was as if those few words embedded on the LCD screen of my iPad would change my photographic life forever. Not anymore!

I learnt that it is not about resolutions, plans or even aspirations – all elusive and fleeting. It is more about finding the courage to let go.  

I know, it feels so good to make resolutions. Sometimes they are as grand as changing careers, starting your own firm or succeeding in a project, getting a new camera or taking just one blockbuster image. For many it is a feeling of belonging to a group, a way of thinking or a certain style.  

Either way, resolutions are usually flags planted in front of us in the hope they will boost us to follow the right path. Then, as the New Year progresses, we become so engrossed with reaching those flags that we stop being ourselves – we become efficiency machines, gurus of steps and improvements to put us on a pedestal in our times.

Resolutions work on an industrial, business or maybe even a personal level. However, if viewed as a creative endeavour, photography needs exactly the opposite. It needs tension and conflict, chaos, self-awareness and, most importantly, freedom from resolutions, concepts and photographic genres.

The best way to reach this freedom is to let go. When you let go, you start feeling and seeing again. No, I am not talking about those big, ambitious tasks. I am talking about those small moments of passion and rage. When was the last time you shouted out at the top of your lungs to your wife or lover “I LOVE YOU”?  When was the last time you took your children to the playground and slid with them not holding onto the bars? When was the last time you wrote a poem or a love letter? When was the last time you threw out Excel sheets, your appointment book and your cell phone and ran outside in the middle of the night to listen to the silence?

In the New Year, I want to roar to the silence and whisper to the light.

No resolutions, please!

IAll imagery shot with the X-E3 paired with the XF 80mm F2.8 or the XF 35mm F1.4





2017 © Olafphoto. All rights reserved.



Once again the time of judgment, summary and new resolutions is here. My first response is normal and perfectly logical: the New Year equals new resolutions. Fortunately, I had the strength to push back and I smiled, strangely enough.  

Photography is an odd calling. On the surface it is fun, engaging, compliant. There are huge possibilities. What could possibly go wrong? The response is soothing: great, beautiful, stunning, keep doing it. After all, this is no place for NOs, upset or tumult.

It is easy to pat yourself on the back in this serene atmosphere. You worked hard, produced great visuals, got many “beautifuls” and you reached a place that is comfortable and cosy, so why disrupt this calm?

Well, somehow it feels cramped here; it’s static, colourless and sterile. Something inside pushes you to stretch yourself and you move toward the edge of the cliff. Whatever it is, it wants you to rip open the box, unleash the demons and create chaos. It wants you to go back to the beginning and rehearse your trials and errors. Strangely enough, you want to comply. You want to destroy your present complacency of seeing. But why? What for? There is no answer, not just yet.

There are no resolutions or plans – just chaos to start the year. It’s so comforting, so desirable and so necessary.


2016 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.