As William Shakespeare once said, “To blog or not to blog…that is the question.“

This has been a very real question for me, and I’m going to explain my thought process in the most tedious way possible…

With Kantian Ethics!

It began with a simple question: Do People Care? But it ended —or didn’t end— with me nose deep reviewing the Categorical Imperative. This happens more often than I’d like to admit, but I think it comes from a well-meaning place. Here’s one of Kant’s ideas in more or less (definitely less) words:

Don’t treat people merely as a means to an end. Treat them as the end.

Basically, don’t use people just to get what you want. Don’t view another’s existence as nothing but a stepping stone. This question of intrinsic human value creeps into my mind whenever I do anything that involves other people in any way. So when I thought about blogging, and should I blog about others, it wasn’t an easy answer.

Is this interaction benefitting me? Only me? Is my benefit my only purpose for this interaction?

I don’t think that is ever the case for me, and I care so strongly about people’s feelings and lives outside mine. So while I realize these questions sound a bit sociopathic, I think my asking them is because of the value I place on others. Yes, the weather is beautiful up here on my high horse.

But for that reason, blogging the stories of other people has had me really stuck. Poignant stories of families, relationships, or a single person are often filled with hardships. So can we selflessly celebrate the strength of mankind without exploiting it? If you’ve ever seen the FRIENDS episode where Joey and Phoebe argue about the existence of a truly selfless act, you might understand how difficult this question can be.

Spoiler alert: Phoebe kills a bee.

My moral philosophy teacher once called me a “moral superstar“—this is a true fact and perhaps the single greatest moment of my undergrad career—and though he would be appalled by (appalled at?) my freestyle grammar and liberal use of commas, he would also probably be equally concerned with how much this still plagues me. It’s clear the entire premise of this blog is absurd, but it helps me and maybe you feel comfortable with whatever I choose to write after this. Also I’ve spent seven years trying to find a way to tell everyone I’m a moral superstar and it sits nicely here. So if you get nothing else out of reading this, at least know that.

I was told to make a blog. It helps people get to know me. But what me should they get to know? My relationship with the people I photograph? My day to day actions and non-actions? Pictures of my workspace with stream of consciousness styled faux-etry? (That’s faux-poetry and a joke style I use as much as possible.)

If I stayed true to myself I’d end up with a blog about bone pathologies and photoshops of Tom Hanks.

I have read blogs and I envy the sunshine-soaked writing of wedding photographers. My writing, on the other hand, is less Rachel Hollis and more a crude, poor man’s Vonnegut. Whichever direction my writing takes, the reality is that I have wonderful meaningful interactions with humans. Not just clients, but strangers and friends. When I tell stories of these interactions to my boyfriend, it feels authentic. But when I tell the stories from me as a business, it feels exploitive and cheesy. I often compromise and end up writing in a weird robotic sounding middle ground.

So, would Kant approve of blog posts that detail my sessions and relationships with clients? Or would he think it turns a person into merely a means? I don’t know. I literally wrote a song called “Kant Read Kant.“ I’m not the right person to ask. So here we are at the end of my first post. With more questions than when we started.

Will I blog more?

I am going to try to write when I write.

What will my blogs be about?

God I hope not this again.

My cheese factor may be high in some posts. I really do get excited about photoshoots. I love being behind the camera. I’d like to let that show, but I’ll avoid the middle ground and insincerity. I set out to tell stories so that’s what I’ll keep trying to do. I might make a separate post on why I believe this is so important and why it goes so far beyond benefitting just one person and their blog.

My AIM profile once told me to dance like no one is watching. I’ll take a page out of that book and write like no one is reading (probably the case with a post like this).

Amy & Tom Hanks signing off.