It’s not often I get this way, normally I have lots to share and lots to write about, but lately I have been in a photographic funk. It’s not something that will last as I have had them before, but I’m having a difficult time getting myself motivated to shoot anything other than concerts, portraits and weddings. I know these are my true niche because I love the excitement of it all. Especially the concerts! I love meeting people and seeing them excited like when I took photos at the Big Ole Bonfire in the Photo booth. Or meeting the artists and photographing their fans like I did this night at The Ranch (my photos have my watermark on them). I love seeing the look of excitement on peoples faces when they get to meet their rock star idol like this young man did with Sixx: AM at Fort Rock. This excites me! Check out more about Fort Rock here on my blog Festival Daze
My funk comes within my own realm of doing photos for myself. I need to find something outside of my “normal” range of concerts, weddings & portraits to shoot. I have tried the “photo a day” challenges and I feel bad when I can’t complete a day’s challenge so I stop doing them. I need something other than beaches and flowers too; I need something exciting, something that catches not just my interest, but my eyes. I need to slow myself down and create my own masterpiece, something worth sharing and talking about. But what would that be? I’m not really sure. Do I need a vacation to somewhere other than here? Maybe, or maybe I just need to take in what’s around me and see it in a different way, but how? I love adventures! I love taking adventures on my own where no one but me dictates how or when. Maybe I need a day of adventure, to explore somewhere new on my own and to get back within my grove. Or maybe I need a day with couple of my friends who are incredible photographers, who are creative and like to think outside the box. I’m sure this will pass quickly as it always does, but in the meantime if you, my readers have any thoughts or suggestions, please comment below. Until next time, from the Life of a photographer.
Oftentimes we think of a get-away as going off to some exotic destination, but for me it’s time spent alone and/or with family. Some often ask me if they can come along, but I am hesitant for several reasons; I’m on a structured day to day routine with work and any photography I may have after work or any edits, so my personal time is extremely valuable. I really don’t want to be anyone’s entertainment for an entire weekend. I also crave that alone me time, to sit and do nothing, take a nap or go on a drive or hike and not feel responsible for anyone, but myself. If I do ask someone along it’s because I know they can go off an entertain themselves or they understand my need for solitude, mind you I’m not anti-social, I love people and I love talking to them, and finding out their story, however there are times when I simply want to be silent and sit alone and ponder things in my life and clear my mind. That’s the beauty of being solitary for a time. I’m an Introvert and for years considered myself shy, but yet when around friends and people I care for I am as outgoing as any Extrovert I know. Talkative, animated and full of life, the difference is, I don’t feed off of the energy of people around me, I feed off of quiet and solitude, it’s what restores my soul.
With my day job as an administrative assistant, I am either on the phone, or dealing with residents and vendors who stop by, or our employees, so daily I expend a lot of physical and emotional energy. Then you add to that after a full day of work, I go off and photograph concerts with loud music and lots of people and heavy equipment or shooting portraits of individuals and families with children, I have to be “on point” and my energy level must remain high as I am constantly talking and directing, By the time I am ready for some down time, I’m READY! I love being a photographer and I love the excitement of the crowd and the thrill of getting that perfect shot; it’s what drives me daily, but in order to keep going I have to spend time within myself and alone so when I’m asked if someone can join me in my short weekend sabbaticals, I certainly hope they understand why I am hesitant or tell them no. I need the time to recharge my batteries within myself. It makes me better at my work, it gives me clarity to see I’m doing the right thing and it rests my body so that I can keep up the pace set before me.
This year I decided to take at least one weekend per month and either do some day trips or camp. I really prefer camping because I can incorporate day trips into the camping and that get’s me out and away. This aways refreshes my soul and helps with my creativity and simply makes me a better me.
I prefer heading to the Everglades, it’s where my soul belongs, even though I left it years ago, I do sometimes long to go back. The people are fascinating and the stories are many. I could sit for hours (and sometimes do) listening to the locals talk about the “way it used to be”. I long for a time much simpler than how I live today. I could live as a minimalist, in a tiny house somewhere in the woods. I really don’t need much and I think I would be just fine. Maybe someday.
I love being outdoors. I am in an office five days a week for eight hours a day and on the weekend I find I must get out. When I am camping, I get to sit by a campfire, share a meal with my son and his girlfriend and just do nothing or say nothing if I don’t want to.
I go to bed early and arise as the sun is coming up and the birds are beginning to sing.
I overheard a camper yesterday lament about how they hated the birds in the early morning, because they woke them up. Really? how can you hate something so magical and beautiful as birds singing in the new day. I could wake to that sound every single day and be ecstatic for another day. Maybe someday.
Coffee is always better when it’s a cold brisk morning and you arise to the sun shining and the birds flitting about and the dewy freshness of a new day. I so enjoy sitting in the quiet of the morning when I am camping and allowing my body to awaken with nature. I would love to do this every single day for the rest of my life. Maybe someday.
I find I don’t miss the television with it’s mundane programming, or the radio blaring; campers around me always seem to have a radio going, and I just don’t understand why? Why do you need that outside element of noise when there is so much more to hear? and if you just look around life is more exciting than anything the television has to offer. in my short few days, I was able to see a baby raccoon climbing a tree. Birds feeding, alligators lounging around in the sun trying to get warm after a few chilly nights and I got to experience real conversations with people. I learned so much more than if I had been at home in front of a little box. I hope to experience this more and more. Maybe someday.
Recently I took an online challenge to update my blog and to get it more noticed, not sure if I have accomplished that, but I did learn a lot and I am putting what I am learning to use. I set a goal for myself to blog at least once a week if not more often. I know I don’t have to write much and since it’s mostly a photography blog I can write and use the photos I have taken.
I have also set some personal challenges. Dealing with a few physical issues; mainly my foot and ankle problem, I have made some changes. I stopped wearing unsupported footwear and have gone to “ugly” shoes and by that I mean Birkenstocks. I tried to get the cutest ones I could find and also get a pair with closed toes. I now have four pairs and they seem to be helping. My foot/ankle needs to rest and heal, so the change in shoes is helping and also the ortho inserts for my workout sneakers help to keep me more pain free, which brings me to my next goal. I have become lethargic except when I have a camera in my hand, then I am all over the place (I don’t allow the pain to stop me). I joined a gym and I have been working with a trainer to set up a program. I know gaining strength and muscle will help me to feel better and to look better. This was needed; my photography exploits depend on me being in top form.
My last challenge, which ties all these others together is to take care of ‘me’ sometimes that will mean I have to stop doing things that are bad for my health, or even ridding myself of toxicity in my life when it comes to those I associate with. I’ve done it before and I will do it again if needed. I will spend time with the people I care most about in life, family and wonderful friends and do what I can to live my life to the fullest. Work a business to the maximum of my potential and to create written words on a page for others to enjoy and to be inspired. In doing this. So what’s next for me? My expectation is for life to be richer, fuller and sweeter.
I am not making any resolutions this year, but I do have goals for my personal and professional life. My first goal is to be more creative; to take the time to really see what is in front of my lens. Another goal is to book more weddings, however I am particular and will only take those which follow my standards and vision. A personal goal is to take more “me” time, to get out and enhance my own skills and to work to make me better. I also want to be more active in my blog here, I put out quite a few last year, but my goal for 2016 is to blog weekly. Writing is something I enjoy and I want to write a lot more, which will also get me out and shooting more so that I have something to blog about. I want to read more books this year, reading is an escape and I want to go to the park or beach with a good book and get lost in it. I also want to sit in quiet reflection to get closer to God and to simply listen for life’s answers.
The week prior to the Fourth of July holiday weekend began as any, I really didn’t have any plans to celebrate and that’s normally when I get slammed with work. I received a message from a client that stated he wanted me to be on board a “pirate ship” to photograph it for an upcoming event website. I wasn’t sure what I would be doing or even where the boat was located. Once I received my instructions, my excitement built and I realized I would be getting to photograph a beautiful two-mast tall ship. I love tall ships as they epitomize a time when things were slower and so much calmer.
I arrived at the marina and simply waited for the Captain to tell me when we would be sailing, as we had to wait on the tide. Finally it was time to board and we headed into the Gulf of Mexico. Once we were out in the water, I transferred my gear and myself onto a chaser boat. we circled around and I was able to capture this beautiful ship in full sail. I heard from the owner/captain of the sail boat a few days later and he was extremely moved by the beautiful images of his beautiful Black Pearl. I was told this was the first time he had ever seen his vessel in full sail, and it was breath-taking. I’ll let you be the judge.
First let me say the title of this blog post is a bit misleading. You see I am not in competition with anyone, I am a photographer who is confident in her work and who is constantly taking classes and being mentored by pro’s who have been doing it for a lot longer than I have. I feel this is a key element to my growth, I must continue learning; I also enjoy sharing my knowledge to those just beginning too.
Interestingly enough I recently was “accosted” on a facebook concert photography group because I stated I shoot so I don’t have to edit and was told that it was impossible to do, well I’m here to tell you 95% of my concert photos are straight out of camera. I do try to get it right in camera which saves editing time and I am able to get the photos placed in a gallery before the concert is a “past thought” and out of the mind of the fans. I am also a Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and various other social media user and it’s imperative that I follow the subject I am photographing. More than once this has paid off with my photo being shared and used within the social media world of the artist; this is a success to me.
Back to competition, I’m not speaking about online competitions which have no bearing to my photography or my over-all self-esteem. I don’t need to “prove” I am worthy to the general public, I receive that often with simply posting my photographs in social media. Nothing beats having artist management contact you to use your photos within their social media page! One day I am sure to venture in the world of photographic competition, but when I do it will be for something a lot more prestigious than a simply “attaboy” in an online gallery. The competition I am writing about is that which something deep inside says “I must be better than everyone else” or I am a failure. You see I had this mindset for a few years, thinking that everyone was so much better than I am. This sort of self-talk degrades a person’s self-esteem, trust me I have been the queen of negative self-talk. A couple of years ago it finally dawned on me, I don’t need to be in competition with anyone except myself; to challenge myself to become better and grow in knowledge of my camera and all aspects of photography. As soon as I changed this mindset I began to draw clients and create opportunities that few will ever realize in their life. I competed with myself and I am winning! I am in more venues that I could have ever imagined. I have been privileged to photographed rock bands, country artists and met some incredible people along the way. I have photographed happy brides and ladies diagnosed with cancer in their most vulnerable moments, and I have photographed some incredibly beautiful women who would not allow just anyone to take their photo; to me this is success and to think I didn’t have to enter any competitions to do any of this. Keeping a positive attitude and a smile on my face is my way of life. It’s amazing how many incredible people you draw into your life when you are positive and upbeat. Every single day I look at how far I have come in just a few short years and I am really excited about where my future will take me, I know it’s going to be somewhere great! Why do I know this? Because I am in competition with no one, but mysef.