Fulfilling your dreams…three ways to doing what it takes to make things happen…taking your ideas and making them a reality.

Overlooking the Ocean - How to Photograph a Creative Engagement Session

 

This is the year for creativity …a year of inspiration and following your dreams.

Fulfilling your dreams…wonderful, attainable dreams.  Doing what it takes to make things happen…taking your ideas (and at the risk of sounding cliché) making them a reality.

For myself, I have a HUGE list of goals and dreams based both in photography (like taking our work to local galleries in NYC) and personally, like travelling to further corners of the world.  I have had a great year but I NEED to do MORE with my creativity.  I believe the best way to kick-start is by asking…

 “How do I make this year different from any others?”

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it ~ Santayana

1.  Start by Looking Back

In order to go forward we first need to look back.  You can say that about nearly everything….just by studying history and looking at what has worked and what has not, has always been of benefit to me – that and bouncing off my sounding board (my wise husband).  When talking to him about the highs and lows of last year, Dan reminded me of a saying his grandfather once said… “If you make a mistake more than twice it is a decision.”  That made me think…

Was I happy with my photography last year?

We have won awards through various wedding blogs and websites, we have revamped our own website and blog by sheer hard work and hundreds of hours, have won a few National Association of Photoshop Professionals photo awards, we have travelled all over North America for client work, had the chance to sit one last time with Jay Maisel in his studio before he announced the sale of his historical building (the end of a historic era much to the sadness of many photographers).  We have worked with Belgium’s fashion photographer Frank Doorhof, have had many destination wedding opportunities including travel to Jamaica and even met (was blessed by) and worked within some pretty unforgettable experiences!  So yes, in a way I am quite satisfied, and in others, not.  And why?  To be perfectly candid, photography has given me purpose and much joy – but only when creativity was at the helm.

“You can’t rush creativity.  Hurrying does not help in the  flow of ideas. Your mind tends to go into a state of slight disarray when you are trying to force things.  Allowing ideas to percolate is sometimes the best thing you can do for creativity – simply letting things bubble away over time.”

2.  Time and Quality

  • Making good use of time given:

My number one criticism looking back – I found I spent an inordinate amount of time, every spare moment actually, on social media aspects; on every form of social media available, updating my status constantly followed by inevitably looking at what others were doing;

I fell into what I now call the social media “trap” – constantly posting, looking, updating, and so on… and I can tell you it was not worth the time and effort I put in.  The benefits did not reap great reward and more often than not, it left me feeling unsettled; the times when I was busy making updates and making comparisons by looking at what others were doing, I could have been using the time and energy for further creativity.  Yes, it is important to post to social media daily but with social media comes comparison, who’s doing what, which meant I was not ‘looking at my own paper’, so to speak.

  • Paying attention to Quality v. Quantity

As a digital photographer, it is easy to go with quantity over quality – especially with events and weddings and with the ability of the Canon 1DX, 14 frames per second and a couple of 64GB cards (great for weddings) I need to stop to take…time.

If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.~ Jay Maisel

It is said that we become masters of our craft when we reach 10,000 hours – yes, BUT we should be constantly evaluating and critiquing over those 10,000 hours, meaning; we can easily make the same mistakes over and again – or learn an aspect of our craft incorrectly, thereby only mastering what is incorrect if we are not careful.  A great article about  this can be found here at Brain Pickings.

3.   On What is Most Important

Taking better care of myself!  It may sound obvious, but when lost in my work, the important aspects to everyday life like exercise and sleep takes a back seat!  When I give these things up, I am taking away from clear thought and a good sound work course.  Essentially, the very foundation of what helps drives me forward towards my goals is getting lost…my creativity flow!

I have also found that in some ways, my personal life goes into my image creativity.  For example spending time with my husband keeps me going – and believe it or not, those very same good feelings and thoughts play a part in my creativity as well.

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life. ~ Jean Shinoda Bolen

Out of all of these aspects; looking back, time, quality and focusing on the important things, the best way to summarize it all is for me to take that perfect blend of passion and my personal life and find that perfect balance.  After all, it is not JUST about creativity, but my life!