I Quit Photography For Three Months

I haven't picked up a camera in three months.

That's a sentence a landscape photographer typically doesn't write. 

And while I could make something up about how I've been so busy during that time working on amazing plans for you all this year, and that everything I did in 2021 has contributed to this amazing roadmap I have for 2022... But it would be a total lie. 

In truth? I was exhausted.

If you've been following me recently, you know that I went hard into my photography in 2021. When it was clear that the world was going to start to open up again, I decided to capitalize on that and make it my best year of photography ever. I visited more places, planned more outings, manufactured more moments and clicked my shutter button more times than any previous year. 

My goals going into 2021 revolved around honing my skills. I wanted to shoot more of the types of scenes I love (astro, mountains, fall, sunrises) but do them better and more technically sound than ever. I also wanted to expand my creative eye and capture some things that don't typically hit my radar (detail shots, telephoto images, people). By all accounts, I think I succeeded.

But, it came at a price.

In 10 months, I visited 10 different states and 4 national parks, and I captured over 6,000 images. I shot lakes. I shot rivers. I shot mountains. I shot slot canyons, leaves, fog, buildings, animals, people, stars, snow, rain, desert sands. I felt like I was constantly chasing that next great shot, and I loved (almost) every minute of it. But, when October came and I returned from my last big trip of the year, I just hit a wall.

Without realizing it, I began to break down. I lost the desire to get up early or stay out late to shoot photos, I fell way behind on editing and (clearly) writing, and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with a camera. I was completely wiped, and I needed a break.

So, what did I do during those three months? Honestly, not much. I read a lot, saw family and friends, tinkered with some things around the house - basically did all the things people who aren't landscape photographers do! I barely thought about photography at all for the rest of the year.

Around New Year's Eve, I decided it was time to get back on the horse. I started looking back at all the scenes I captured in 2021, and I created the gallery below with eight of my favorites. I know I'm about three weeks late to the reflection party, but was an exceptionally busy year and I'm really proud of each of those photos.

So, what's in store for 2022? I'm not really sure yet, but I'm getting excited to shoot again, and that feels like a great place to start.

Michael Wood Photography 2021 recap grid of photosEight of my favorite photos from 2021. Thank you for following along!

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