Recently I listened to a conversation on a podcast, F-stop Collaborate and Listen, and had an idea come to me (as I often do). From my brain: “Might be an interesting idea to go through all our images and see an overall view of what we are creating.” Then my mind started thinking about all the places I’ve been and the combined collection of the past 2 years.
It’s been just about 2 years since I started my deep dive into photography and I’ve basically made images of everything and anything that has looked remotely interesting to me. Sometimes I made images of subjects that might not have been that interesting but I wanted the practice of creating something like it. I KNOW my work up until now is a pretty eclectic collection and I’m totally great with it! But, I’ve recently been asking myself if I have a creative vision and, if so, what that looks like. Maybe acting on this new idea will help me discover that (if it exists).
My plan is to start at the beginning of my recent photography journey (Dec. 2019) and work my way through the present. I’ll do some basic reorganization (check out this course from Chrissy Donadi) including keywording and flagging. My main focus will be to create a “Creative Vision” collection by really listening to my inner creative voice (artistic intuition) and only add those images that are resonating with me. I may make several passes at a particular folder on different days in different moods so I don’t miss anything. I’m also wondering if multiple projects will present themselves during this exercise. (see my current favorite project here)
I know that, during this process, all my negative thoughts and judgement of my work will creep up on me. This kind of thinking might cause me to feel so terrible that I don’t actually do what I set out to do. Since I know this will happen, it’s important for me to be intentional in my thinking and tell my brain what to do (I’m the boss!). Here’s what that looks like:
- Acknowledge that the negative judgement will most likely appear.
- Make a plan to think ON PURPOSE. In this case I currently like: “I love my work anyway, and all its “imperfections”.”
- Show myself some love when the judgement does show up. I don’t trick myself into thinking I won’t have some “judge-y” thoughts about my images.
- Decide to think my intentional thought: “I love my work anyway, and all it’s “imperfections”.” Let myself feel all the love for my work.
- Remind myself of my goal and keep going!
Telling myself to love my work probably sounds a little “woo woo” but I really do want to love all the images that I create. After all, they came from ME! I don’t actually have to like them though and can make a judgement call about them with a critical, but not negative, eye.
What do I hope the outcome of all this will be?
- To see the overview of my journey.
- To better understand who I am as an artist.
- To decide if I have a more solid creative vision.
- To discover if I have a preference for specific subjects.
- To see if I want to use all of this to shape my future work.
I’d like to set myself up for more success without forcing myself to constrain to any genre or making a particular type of image. I think that would actually hinder my growth as a photographer. And a bonus, I get to practice loving my work and telling my brain what to do like the boss of me that I am!