For the past three weeks I have been preparing for my semi-annual move back to Belgium. If you have ever moved you know just how many things need to be arranged and taken care of. Sure I do not have to take the furniture but I do have to figure out what I will need for the next 6 months and how to fit it into two suitcases. Along with what camera equipment can I live without and what really needs to come.Read More
I just was reading a new book on my Kindle called "The Creative Life in Photography" by Brooks Jensen. This book has got me thinking about why I am doing the type of photography I am doing. I mean really digging deep into why I am photographing horses, dogs, nature etc.. Sure I am always in the pursuit of learning more and perfecting my craft, but why? What is it I am trying to accomplish by photographing my subjects? I sat in silence to really dig deep. Here is what came to me. Since I was small I have been attracted to the animal kingdom. I had an imaginary farm in my head at age three, I still can recall every detail of this farm. As I grew up I was continuously bringing home lost dogs, kittens, rabbits, baby birds, turtles and mice I drove my parents crazy with these creatures I wanted to have live with us. So there started the root of my interest.
But today after many years of living (59 to be exact) I am asking the question why? What is it about animals and nature that has dominated the decisions I make not only to photograph but how I live my life.
I am now starting to ask why do I want to photograph animals and nature? Why must I live near them. Why horses and particularly draft horses, why dogs, why regular dogs and not the beautiful show dogs, why nature, not the landscapes you travel to but the ones I stumble upon. Not just flowers but weather.
This is the question I am asking myself today, why?
It never hurts to stop in your life and ask why you are doing what you are doing. It will bring you to a spot to examine your life before you make choices that may lead you away from yourself rather than toward who you really are.
So here are some answers to my why. Because animals let us into their world if we just ask rather than insist. Because the draft horse can overpower us but chooses not to. Because nature can inspire and destroy us all in the same day. Because the relationship is more important than the activity. Because the eyes speak and beauty inspires.
I have a feeling I still need to dig a bit deeper, but a least I know why I photograph what I do. Now I need to ask what I will create with my photography and why.
What is your why?
At this time last week I was frustrated and confused. I had more questions than answers about my business and managing my life. I was pushing for the answers and pushing myself to do more, learn more, market more and on and on. I was trying to control my business and my life and it was driving me crazy.
Then I remembered the message in a book I had read last year called "Dying To Be Me" by Anita Moorjoni A book about being who you are and finding joy. Anita had witnessed her own death and came back with a strong message for all of us.
I decided to just stop and look for the joy in my life. I was not going to strive and worry and try to figure it all out.
After that decision I instantly felt relief. I went about my day doing what was only in front of me. It felt good to let go of what I was trying to make happen.
Then some amazing things started to happen. I went to my photography club competition and one of my photos won in my division. I later got an email from a client that wanted to buy two more prints for her home. I had invigorating conversations with my husband and close friends. I hosted a cocktail hour for some neighbors and had a wonderful time. A foot of snow fell, I love snow. Then on Sunday morning I could see out my window that the morning fog was coating everything in beautiful crystals. I grab my camera and drove to the lake and wildlife refugee near my home. It was a magical morning, a photographers dream. I was in natures playground of beauty. I could not take enough photographs. Although I should have brought my tripod, I was still just so enjoying the beauty and stillness of the morning.
I can not say how important it is to just live in joy. It's time to quite spending our lives striving and fighting against things we can not control. Just let it unfold. Find the joy that is waiting for you in your life
Have a great week and experience the extraordinary.