I think I can count on one hand the times I’ve grabbed my “real” camera to go on any type of photo shoot since the police came to seize my laptop so they could check it for evidence of child porn over a year and a half ago. I never did get the laptop back, even after ex husband died and their case against him was a moot point, the police refused to give me my laptop back or even a copy of my extensive picture collection I’d edited and stored on it for years. *disclaimer for anyone who doesn’t know the back story…I do not and never have looked at child porn, it was my now deceased ex husband who’d bookmarked some sites that contained (among other things) images of child porn and I about died of horror the day I found out.
I’ve told myself a lot of excuses since that day on why I don’t feel like taking my camera out. Grief over the death of my dad, plus miscarriages, plus finding out husband bookmarked those porn sites, plus the divorce, plus the rest of my immediate family falling apart…the list was endless. What I never considered was the effect losing a huge chunk of my work meant to me. I didn’t stop to think about the connection of that loss being tied to pictures in of itself. I had so many pictures of my niece on that laptop, of my friends kids from all the family photo shoots I did…frozen moments of time where they were being silly or happy. Did some police officer spend hours of time searching through my neatly organized folders just itching to find one that would prove I had any intention of exploiting an innocent child? That concept actually did cause me trauma. I felt like my entire body of work was somehow sullied just by association. I think that, more than the rest, is why I can’t bring myself to pick up my camera and try to capture an interesting or beautiful moment. I love(d) photography, it was a creative outlet but now I just use my phone for everything because I’ve never associated cell pics with being “real” photography. I don’t even own a laptop anymore and I keep putting off getting one. I think I need to find a way to try and get over this. Yes I lost everything, but I can’t let it stop me from building up a new collection. It’s crazy the things we hide from ourselves because of negative emotions and fear.