This career, for me at least, was always about shooting from the heart, writing from my soul and sharing it with the world. As a bourgeoning artist in 2009 – 2010, photographing personal work and blogging about it was not only my passion but a form of therapy. Things were going GREAT but then something terrible happened… I stopped.
For the bulk of 2011, I experienced what can only be described as “creative paralysis”. I was riddled with fear of breaking into the “next level”, I compared my work to everyone else’s, I only focused on paid work and I let resistance take over my life.
Resistance is probably the worst creative sin of them all because it leads to laziness, self-doubt and ultimately paralysis. And do you want to know the worst part about resistance?? You don’t even realize you’re going through it! Here is what resistance sounds like:
- “I’m waiting until I get a better camera/lens and then I’ll be sure to take better pictures.”
- “I need a better website/branding… this is the only way to get people to notice me and help me get to the next level.”
- “I don’t have time for free/personal work.”
- “I’m waiting until I get my “expensive” portfolio printed and then I’ll start meeting with Art Directors.”
- “I’m starting tomorrow or (insert any arbitrary date here)”
- “I wish my work looked like (insert your favorite photographer’s name here).”
That is exaclty what I sounded like. During the resistance phase, you tend to think the problem lies in EVERYTHING else when it’s really all about your mindset. Now don’t get me wrong, a pro-level camera, great branding and professional models will definitely help you work look “better” but lack there of should not stop you from producing great work. Some of the most amazing photographs I’ve ever seen were shot with a $40 film camera, using regular people and posted on a free tumblr template. All the bells and whistles don’t matter… it’s ALL ABOUT THE WORK. Let me repeat this. *clears throat* IT IS ALL ABOUT THE WORK! Here’s how the “It’s all about the work” process goes:
1. Shoot work that you are passionate about – Work that you would shoot for free….shoot for free.
2. Share the work that you are passionate about – If you are shooting work that you love then this should be easy. You should be boiling over with excitement after a shoot and want to show this work to anyone who will look at it.
3. Repeat – This is where the magic happens. Passion is contagious and the people that are passionate about what you are doing will be your biggest cheerleaders. Consistently shoot and share.
Over the past year, I learned that creativity is a muscle and just like any muscle you must continuously work on it to build strength and endurance. That’s honestly what this entire post is about… me getting over my paralysis and trying to take that first step. Consider this blog post as me moving my big toe… I’ll be in full stride by the end of the year.
Keep shooting and sharing.