In my experience I have found that not exercising my view and vision from the heart and soul leaves me empty. It’s important to me to pick up a camera if for no other reason than just shooting something that appeals to me and me only, feeding that inner child. There are no art or creative directors to please, no editors saying ” uh, do you have something else?” Not that there is not a place for that in the money making and bill paying world, but for this, just me, my camera and vision.
Where am I going with this? Well. it’s kinda like working out physically everyday, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Imagine going to run a marathon without training at all. We train mentally by working on creative exercises to ingrain that thought, so that when we are running a marathon of a shoot, that might not lend itself to that aspect, we will look harder and the creativity will be more intuitive.
Starting a business can certainly have a toll on the creative flow, it becomes more of marketing and strategic world which uses the opposite side of the brain and that side is a energy hog, it will take all you will give it leaving the creative side starving. Finding the balance between these two is a constant battle. Before a recent life change, I remember waiting and shooting all day for a single shot yielding a great shot and full soul. These days with the challenges of running a business, I find it a lot tougher to spend all of my days just shooting.
I started my career early in life at age 16, it evolved into a wedding and portrait business that was crazy for about ten years. After a ten year hiatus and four kids later, my inner child and creativity woke up. I fell in love with the art side of photography for the first time. It opened up my desire for feeling the energy of the situation from the heart, rather than analytical thought process. Both era’s were good… don’t get me wrong, you have to have the first to take in the technical side of the medium…but you have to get outside of your brain to create.
My daily thought pattern
Shoot something different today
Look past the obvious in every shot
Work off a daily list, I have compiled a list of I want photos
Strive to create a balance in my work
Is my gear ready when the shot presents itself?
Teaching for creativity
Another thing that fills the creative void for me is teaching photography. I have taught now for over ten years, everything from basic 101 to lighting and editing. Preparing itinerary and meeting like minded people with a desire to learn. When you get a group of people with the same goal in mind, it compounds the energy and everybody learns, even the teacher.
I give homework assignment in every class which gives a thought pattern so the student can focus on the creativity of the shoot, as you progress in your art, you have to continue to give yourself assignments for the growth to continue.
My favorite way to roll is to have one camera and one lens and exhausting the potential of that combination, but creativity can come from anywhere, could be a new piece of equipment added to your arsenal or lighting something differently. Whatever the tool, I use it to promote the creativity so I’ll be ready and can pul it at will when the need arises.
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