Look Beyond Photography: Episode 11 “Why So Serious?”

Lets admit it, we all want to be viewed a certain way.

Each of us has this notion in our head about who we think we are and how we want others to perceive us. We like to believe that this type of social behavior ends after high school and that we’re not interested in being one of the “cool kids” anymore, but that’s just not true. The reality is, every event, group, or gathering still has it’s social “rungs” to climb, “circles” to navigate, and “pitfalls” to watch out for. As adults, we think we’re above this behavior, but it’s time to be honest with ourselves. Each of us want to be liked and want to fall into a social category we can be happy with.

Not being myself...and I hate this photo. :/
Not being myself…and I hate this photo. :/

Photographers are no different. We have our photographic “rockstars” that we all look up to. Just like in high school, we want to be part of their circles…even if it’s just to be “cool” by association. We have our photographic “outcasts”. They’re anti-establishment and everything they do is against the grain. They just wanna stick it to the photographic “man”. We have photographic “nerds”, who are all about the science and technical aspects of photography…and love nothing more than talking about the Inverse Square Law. The photographic “jocks” are always on some sort of adventure, taking photos while jumping out of airplanes or deep sea diving. We even have our photographic “loners”. They don’t really want to play as part of the group. They don’t want anyone telling them what to do. They just want to do their own thing and to be left alone. The majority of us however fall into that middle-ground. We’re not really in any group and we’re just trying to find out where we belong…and who we need to impress to get there.

Sometimes, This is Me - Josh Hanna
Sometimes, This is Me – Josh Hanna

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be liked. Nor is there anything wrong with wanting to be part of a group of people that have similar interests as you. The problem I see however, is all too often we allow that desire to be acknowledged by a certain crowd dictate our behavior. When we’re too busy trying to impress the “cool kids”, it doesn’t allow us to be true to who we are as individuals and prevents the unique voice that God has instilled in each of us from ringing out. Sometimes we need to stop and reflect. Am I more concerned with being an individual and finding fulfillment through my own creativity, or am I trying to be something or someone I’m not to try and “fit in”?

It sounds silly, I know…we’re adults after all. We shouldn’t be prone to such adolescent behavior. But, it’s human nature. The difference is now we’re older (hopefully wiser) and able to make mature decisions. For me, the first decision I’ve made is to not take myself so seriously. I don’t want to be portrayed in a particular way or painted with a certain brush, I just want to put myself out there and say “this is me”. I can be pretty geeky at times and constantly laugh at my own jokes. I’m more sarcastic than I probably should be. I’d rather invest in my family than in my business (and if that means that my family is more successful than my business ever will be, then that’s the goal!) I’m a Christian…not because of anything that I’ve done, but because of what Jesus has done for me!  I love sci-fi, video games and photography…especially when they combine!  I use “…” too much.  …and as much as I want to be liked by others, I don’t care if any of my attributes offend anyone else.  This is me.

Sometimes, This is Me - Josh Hanna
Sometimes, This is Me – Josh Hanna

Who are you?  Do you want to be assimilated into the collective (Borg reference) (Star Trek reference) (Sci-fi reference) (told ya…), or do you want people to know you for who you are?  Don’t take yourself too seriously (unless you’re a serious person…then by all means, be super serious).  Did you know your profile photos and headshots tell others a LOT about yourself.  What can you do differently in your next profile pic to let others know “this is me!”  I’d love to know more about you.  Comment below…tell me about the real you!  …and then tell the rest of the world!

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