I haven't blogged in a very long time. It's been a busy year. Busy is good. As a business owner, busy is great. We often say "It's better than the alternative!" Busy pays the bills. Busy means you are doing something right. Busy is validation. Busy is the goal. However, busy doesn't often feed the soul, and busy rarely inspires.
We all want to be inspired. As a photographer, I need to be inspired. Inspiration is what motivates me. Inspiration is what keeps me going. It's what makes me better. It's what drives me to pursue greatness. But inspiration is just as hard to come by as being busy.
A thriving business is difficult to achieve. It takes detailed planning and surgical execution. It's true that some may stumble upon success but those people don't stay successful for long. Without a strong plan and a stronger work ethic, they will ultimately fold. I believe the same formula applies to inspiration. We may stumble upon inspiration from time to time, but unless we actively seek inspiration and tenaciously pursue it, those moments will be both fleeting and seldom.
Inspiration is very much like opportunity. You won't find it knocking down your door. You have to seek it out, and it is hard to find. Even when you make an effort to find inspiration you may look for some time without success. But that doesn't mean you stop looking. If you open your mind daily to all that is around you with the intention of being inspired, odds are, you will find inspiration.
The best way for photographers to engage in an active inspiration hunt is to plan and execute personal work on a regular basis. Make it part of your business plan. Don't worry about having a perfect idea. No idea is perfect. Just get out there and shoot. You never know what inspiration you might find hiding in the corner.
I recently planned a personal shoot with my friend, model and creative professional, Amanda. As a photographer, I'm mostly known for my use of off camera lighting in portraiture. It's my comfort zone. So in an effort to find some new inspiration, I wanted to create some images using only natural light that still conveyed some of the unique mood I normally create with artificial lighting.
Amanda and I collaborated to imagine the mood and style of the shoot. Between the two of us we were able to put together wardrobe and our friend and fellow creative professional Zack helped us secure an amazingly cool 1966 Pontiac GTO.
This was a project that indeed helped me find some much needed inspiration and I have found myself using some of the same techniques in recent contracted work.
If you are interested in hearing me speak more on the topics of inspiration and opportunity, please join me in Atlanta this January 10-12 for Imaging USA. You can view information on my class as well as registration by clicking this LINK.
I hope you enjoy the images. I had a great time making them.
**All images were created by using natural light, Nikon D800, and Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art**