Why am I doing this?

There is a question that haunts me all the time and that is: Why am I doing this? I have asked myself this over and over again, because I think that I may share my toy-photographs in the wrong context. I suspect that I only share my still life photography because I am flattered to be a “stationary” blogger Stuckinplastic. And when I look at it objectively, I believe that there ought to be a different reason as well?

I have struggled with the question of context for my work for a while now. Between 2013 and 2015 I didn’t share or publish much of my still life photography because I couldn’t find the right context for my work. Attending the Baltictoysafari got me to once again share some of my work on social media and soon after that came the offer to become a part of Stuckinplastic. The other Safari attendees inspired me to take up Instagram as a platform to share my work, but I will always wonder if the blog and social media is the “right” context for my work.

I have tried to see if there is another broader context for my work but I haven’t found it yet. I continue to look because it’s crucial for me as a photographer that I don’t only share my work here on the blog, or for those likes of social media; I want a bigger context! Maybe it starts here, with my writing, but I want the viewer to see more than a “likable picture” I want them to see the concept behind the picture.

the Rat-Catcher
the Rat-Catcher

If I’m only sharing my still life photography because of my fondness for Stuckinplastic (which I suspect I am),  then I have to find a second way to exhibit my projects, my work, because the ideas behind them are as important as the picture.  I want to find a way to present my work in a context that makes it possible for me to involve the concept or the idea behind the work in conjunction with the picture, but I haven’t found it yet. If you have any ideas for how I can get both, please share them with me.



  1. aliceincleveland

    Really, it seems like you answered your own question as to why you are doing this when you said, “I want to find a way to present my work in a context that makes it possible for me to involve the concept or the idea behind the work in conjunction with the picture, but I haven’t found it yet.” The only advice I can offer, which I suspect you already know, is that Instagram isn’t it. It’s up to each individual to admit to themselves why they are here. You have already shown remarkable self evaluation when you ammited, publically, that you suspect you only share your work because of your relationship to the blog. That’s a huge step. Instagram is a great place to feel good about ones work. However, I see a lot of people say things like, “You all are the reason I do this.” While I don’t believe it’s a malicious thought, I do think it’s bull. It’s what we are supposed to say. People do photography because they enjoy doing it. And then (most I think) people enjoy sharing that skill because it feels good when people admire it. That’s all Instagram is. A feel good site based around photos. That’s how it was designed. It’s not supposed to be about text, or even context. Ever followed someone who was gone for a while and when they posted again they apologized for being absent? Were they sorry, or were they reveling in the freedom of not having to decide if someone really understood their work out was just there for #follow4follow #like4like. For your goals I would say you need your own site, a place where you set the context. There’s a reason the conversation about meaning is taking place outside of Instagram, right? One thing is certain, from now on I’ll be looking at your photos more closely, trying to examine the message you present in the title.

    • Thank you Alice, yes I know that Instagram isn’t the answer I have known that for a time. I think you put it so well when you say it’s a feel good place… and I know that we need those places as well. I have thought about doing a site of my own and I’ll see if I can make some work done on my own site so it gets more of what I want. Thank you for your thoughts and your support.


  2. Kristina, When I look at your work I think a book would be a great way to showcase what you are creating. While I understand the siren song of an online home for all your work, I think a book would have an intimacy that would enhance the viewing experience. I know that you are think that you would run into IP problems, but the book I am thinking of is a small run, limited edition. Something that is an art book, not a mass produced commercial enterprise would be hard for the lawyers of a certain IP to come down on. Just an idea; one more to think about.

  3. aliceincleveland

    I know I already offered my opinion here but I was reading through some posts again and I can’t to this, “I want to find a way to present my work in a context that makes it possible for me to involve the concept or the idea behind the work in conjunction with the picture, but I haven’t found it yet.”

    This sounds like you want to be a teacher. Have you ever considered that?

    • Interesting thought I’m not sure I understand how being a teacher would make that possible. What do you suggest I would teach, the context for my work? But that set a side I have worked as a teacher and I don’t see myself as becoming one to get a way to display my work within a context, so when I read your respons I see that I’m fully lost in translation, because I don’t want to teach to my viewer I want to have a conversation around content as equals 🙂 And I don’t find that online because most conversations is a bit shallow and a lot of what we mean get lost when we only communicate through text. But thank you for your thoughts and reflections on my word.

      • aliceincleveland

        Well, I think that you could teach photography. That would allow you to share not only your work, but the concept and idea behind it. It would all come together. I say teach, but perhaps the better word is you could physically share, such as one might find in a workshop.

        On media, like you said, the engagement can be shallow. In a traditional display setting it can be non-existant. The one time I had photographs in a show I was only there opening night to ‘explain’ them. In a workshop though, people are coming to you because they want to be there.

        You could display your work, talk about the idea, the process, whatever you wanted. You could then ask how other people felt and from that point go about trying to catch their feeling in a photograph. You could have toys there or encourage people to bring their own or whatever.

        My one regret from my show is that I didn’t have toys with me. I think it would have been a great experience to be talking to someone about a piece and then just have gotten down on the floor in my suit and looked up at them and said, “See, like this. Now you try.”

        • Yeah I agree I would like to have real meeting around pictures maybe I ought to set up a photo-club with “real meetings in person” to talk pictures. Thank you for clarifying what you meant. It’s hard to get people so see further then the surface.

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