Friday, December 21, 2012

Looking Back Looking Forward

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

I spend every December alternating between looking back and trying to look forward.  Don't you?  The start of a new year is always so promising.  I try not to be so hard on myself for not accomplishing all of the things that I set out to do at the beginning of the year and I even occasionally congratulate myself for doing those things that I never thought possible.  I have a history of being my own worst enemy and I think that 2012 was the year that I finally, finally learned to just be better to myself.  This isn't a novel idea but for some people (me!) it's no easy feat.

2012 was a great year professionally and I'm really excited about all the opportunities I had to show my work, but I'd be lying if I said it was easy.  For every time I sold a piece or won an award or received an acceptance letter from a gallery, I've received five (at least) letters of rejection.  Those letters that say "...we regret to inform you" or "...unfortunately your work was not selected..."  Gah!  Those letters are awful to receive but I save them just like I save those with the good news (not just because I'm a hoarder).  Over the years those letters have gnawed away at my sad, little ego (I'm human after all) but never my spirit.

Getting used to rejection or at least letting it roll of your back is something that everyone has to deal with and this career/passion/job/addiction of making photographs and hoping people actually like them or are inspired by them, let alone exhibit them or buy them, is not for the faint of heart or thin-skinned.  One thing I've learned in general, both in my former career and in my new one, is that you always have to keep going.  Just.  Keep.  Going.  Look forward.  You can feel bad about rejection or feeling lazy or someone else's success or "winning" when you "lose" (not for them because that's not cool or healthy but for you) but get over it and move on.  Be proud about what you're doing and continue believing in whatever it is and keep at it.  Stop whining.  I try to remind myself of why I do this and the fact that I actually need it in my life.  This was a hard lesson for me but 2012 was the year that I finally learned it once and for all.

I know that 2013 will be a good one.  2012 had some very difficult personal moments but I start every year with the hope that it will be okay and go from there and I hope you can too.  I'll be on a blogging hiatus until January 7th when Ciao, Chessa! will be back with a new look that I can't wait to share and some really fun new features, tutorials and stories.  Until then, happy holidays and happy, happy new year!  I hope it's amazing!

Here's a short list of some of my favorite posts from 2012 and these photos are from the Bergdorf Goodman windows which are my favorite holiday windows every single year.  I always love how the city is reflected back at me with fantasy and reality coming together just like New York.  Just like life.

My Abuelo (This is definitely not a "favorite" but is was the hardest thing I ever had to write and the most personal I've shared on my blog)
A lifetime of half minutes
Ten things to think about on the road to success
Missed connections 
Print is dead! Long Live Print! What to do with your pictures.
Thinking not rushing
Life and a Canyon
Being in the moment
Windows and doors of London
How to create a narrative with your photos
Tiger Day
Asking for stories
Crescent moons
A tall order
Visit the Tate Modern
How to create a gallery wall
Raw vs. JPEG 
Some exhibits are happening
Maybe I heart Times Square (a little)
On Influence

And this year I could only see the windows in black and white.  That's just the way my brain works sometimes.

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012
Do you spy me in this one?  I loved it!

Copyright Monica L. Shulman

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

I did try one in color and it just wasn't the same?  What do you think?

Copyright Monica L. Shulman - 2012

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Brittany said...

I'm so with you on this year; definitely didn't accomplish everything I wanted (do we ever??) and getting rejected (or even not hearing back) stings.
Here's to 2013 being a wonderful year!

ps, these photos are completely gorgeous. love them times a billion.

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Your talent is forever and inspiring and I hope that 2013 brings amazing things for you and your family! xoxo

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

The photos are most definitely better in black and white!
You are a talented lady and I hope that more institutions get to see that this year! It isn't always easy to go down a path that you love and not feel appreciated, but I know more galleries and TV shows will see the light!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

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bentley said...

these images are beautiful. bravo.

social media and content management said...

Be proud about what you're doing and continue believing in whatever it is and keep at it.