Why I stopped taking photographs

1 Posted by - January 5, 2016 - Life, Photography

12 weeks ago: the last time I posted a photograph to my instagram feed.

March 2015: the last time I posted to my blog.

I’m reminded of my move further and further away from my photography every time I log into my social media accounts.

I scroll mindlessly through the thousands of images posted, hit a few like buttons, and then it hits…A feeling of sheer exhaustion; sheer frustration.

I hit the close button and slump back into my world of creative avoidance.


I’ve spent the past few months figuring this all out. Figuring out my creative fatigue (it’s apparently a real thing). I guess the sheer pressure of keeping up, of working hard to get a spot of real estate in the content saturated world of social media (recognised only by the low effort of someone clicking the like button), or fighting for attention in flooded editor inboxes…it all left me drained of my passion.

Granted, on top of that, I choose to work a demanding full-time job, which leaves me little room to prioritise my photography…

I guess it just became easier to rather not participate in my photography dream.

Truth is, I never stopped taking photographs (although to my followers and friends it might appear that way). I just stopped shooting with someone else in mind, and started shooting for me – the way it started.

The last few months I’ve explored, traveled, dreamed and watched, albeit from the sidelines, deliberately out of the photography limelight. I went on a quest to reignite my passion and reinspire my dream.

I went back to understanding the reasons behind why I take photographs; And I realised one important thing – that the act of taking a photograph, being immersed in an environment with a tool that helps you preserve that memory for a lifetime, is why I take photographs.

I take photographs because I’m afraid of forgetting…

  • That time I swam with turtles in Hawaii.
  • That time I stood on top of a volcano in Indo.
  • That time I sat on a dingy in 15 feet G-land swell, shitting bricks, but feeling more alive than ever.
  • That stunning post-surf sunset last week.
  • That first time I stepped onto pipeline and a rainbow appeared.
  • That perfect Summer surf session with friends.
  • That feeling of challenging myself to swim with my camera in perfect, but large, surf in the Maldives.

I didn’t get into photography to take photographs for other people. I got into photography to take photographs for me, to record how moments made me feel, to live and record an inspired life fueled by a passion for the ocean that I can’t quite explain.

And then, what I saw, was the potential my photographs had for inspiring others to do the same: to live a gutsy, bold, brave and inspired life; and if that’s all I ever achieve by sharing my images – to inspire one other person to pursue a bold, brave and passionate life, it’ll all be worth it.



  • Matt Hart January 11, 2016 - 12:58 pm Reply

    I was initially shocked at the title of your post, I must admit – a smart way of getting the message across in a ‘saturated world of social media’ where its so easy to become brushed over by a single finger swipe – something we all feel when we don’t receive as many ‘likes/hearts’ as we hoped.

    I couldn’t agree more with your message and I thank you for voicing it – It reminds me to keep shooting for the love, and not for the amount of likes or followers gained…

    Never stop taking photographs – you talented, inspiring and have an incredible eye!

    thank you and have a great day

    • Claire Butler January 25, 2016 - 7:25 am Reply

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your comment and support! Always appreciated :)


  • Lydia January 26, 2016 - 5:24 pm Reply

    I totally agree with this post. Love the article

    • Claire Butler January 26, 2016 - 7:29 pm Reply

      Thanks Lydia! Glad you enjoyed it.

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