That Pebble In My Shoe

New Year’s resolutions? Shelly has chosen five words to define her new year. Kristina is planning a “52 project” for this year.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. As someone who struggles to keep track of his age, what day of the week it is, even what year it is at times, I find it odd that people need a certain date to set their personal agendas and goals? Sure, I’m all for setting goals, but I don’t think I need a particular date in a calendar to do so?

So serious
About the stuff we lack
Dwell upon our memories
But there are no facts
Minor Threat – Salad Days

However, as this is a new year, and here we are on a new adventure, I feel I should follow suit and make some sort of declaration of desires for the year.

So what do I want from the year?

I want a pebble in my shoe!

OK, that probably sounds weird, but bear with me.

I want Toy Photographers to be that pebble in my shoe, a gentle reminder to never become too comfortable. And if I do become comfortable, I want it to be that jolt to remind me that I shouldn’t be. Not an irksome jab, just a friendly prod to keep me on my toes as it whispers into my ear, “don’t get too comfortable now”!

Out of step with the world
I can’t keep up, Can’t keep up, Can’t keep up, Out of step with the world.

I want to be made to think with every idea, with every plan, with every setup, every time I leave the house, every time I lay down in the sand/grass/mud, with every photograph I take, “is this the best it can be”?

I want to be questioned. I want to question myself. I want to strive for all.

No, All!
Descendents – No All

I love scrolling through toy photography feeds and being able to instantly recognise a certain artist’s photos, or be able to identify their influence in another photographer’s photo. “Ah, there’s one of hers!” “Oh that’s his!” Seeing someone’s unique style shine through in a mass of photos pleases me. But does their style please me, or is it my ability to pick it out from a bunch of photos?

This is where the “all” I’m striving for comes in.

Have I found my own style? No. Do I want to? I don’t know.

I do, however, want this pebble in my shoe to keep me shifting, keep me squirming, keep me uncomfortable, until I either find my style, or find out that I’m happy without an identifiable one.

How’d it ever get in my little toesy?
Never thought a pebble could be so nosy
Gotta shake it out of my little hosey
Gotta keep dancing all the time
Ella Fitzgerald – Gotta Pebble In My Shoe

So, I’m declaring, despite avoiding an actual New Year’s resolution, this year, my intentions are to keep slightly uncomfortable. And by doing so, hopefully I’ll be comfortable with what I discover?


  1. Shelly Corbett


    Great post! I think I may have to borrow your pebble in the show analogy. I too want to be pushed this year – new directions, new challenges. I think it’s an exciting idea and I’m interested to see where we both end up at the end of year.

    Shelly 🙂

    • brett_wilson

      Thanks Shelly! Borrow away! It will be interesting to see where we end up. No doubt, still working together and having fun, and hopefully comfortable enough to kick off our shoes and shake out any pebbles we’d put in there at the start of the year?! 🙂

  2. Tony Tulloch

    Finding your style is hard, at least for me. I think some of it is down to the equipment you use (sensors/film and lenses give a certain look sometimes) but I believe it’s mostly from within. The sorts of toys you like; the angle and positions your knees, hips, and back let you get into (now I’m showing my age); the lighting you like to play with; these all play a part in your ‘look’.
    I have been following your work for a couple of months now and I can start to recognise your work too.
    Maybe that pebble is working already.

    • brett_wilson

      I couldn’t agree more Tony. Especially on the knees and back part! Finding an identifiable style is something that that I’m not even sure I want to achieve, although the process of exploring and experimenting to either achieve one, or not, is exciting!

  3. Glad I’m not the only one with serious problems understanding time as a concept… it is after all, a human construction. Having said that, I typically stick to my birthday, which everyone is happy to remind me about, as my time of reflection. Rarely do I look forward to what I want to do, I’m not much of a planner, typically I go with the flow of life. But I often look back, which is where social media is often failing us. It’s hard to go backwards in our social media. Hence why I still blog and find it fun to bounce back occasionally to see what happened before.

    On the idea of a style, I don’t think I have one, well with my toy photography I do tend to stick with a similar set up so I guess there I have a style, but with my other work it seems the editing, angles, etc are at the whim of the day in question. And like you, I’m certainly not striving to find a style, if it comes, so be it, but if not, meh… I’ll still enjoy the journey.

    Thanks for the post, I do enjoy the idea of the pebble in the shoe.

    • brett_wilson

      Ah yes, the struggle with dates and time. A couple of years back, I thought I was turning a year older than I actually was for about two months. But it wasn’t a miscalculation, I thought it was 2016 when it was only 2015. FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS?! Hence, the idea of setting goals on a certain date baffling me. I too like the idea of time for reflection. I like the idea of looking back and finding achievements to be proud of, rather than setting goals that might not be realised, then being bummed about that. And yeah, whether a “style” is found or not, the journey is the best part!

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