Friday, 6 January 2012

Creativity: Permission to fail sir?

"The D4 is announced. I am convinced more than ever that my photography will improve in 2012 by investing in me and my passions than in gear."

I tweeted this today. It was, as they say, a wee 'light bulb moment'. Let me explain why.

In my previous post I sorted out my top 10 'advice to myself'. The top 4 were:

Know who you are.
Embrace life. It helps creativity.
Always have art in your world.
Shoot what interests you, your passions. Find your voice.

These sentiments mirrored something I remember reading. It was Scott Bourne's free e-book 'Visions' and, as ever, the most obvious, common sense advice can sometimes resonate the most and Scott's words of wisdom kept coming back to mind.

He suggested that when it comes to creativity, most limits are self imposed. It can hamper growth.

Try new stuff and fail with a purpose. Give yourself permission to fail so you can learn from it and eventually move on to a new level of competence. Experiment, jam, brainstorm - just as musicians, artists and writers do, so why not in photography?

Make experimentation, expression, authenticity, storytelling and joy the measurements of your success. 

To tell a story in a picture I think you have to have a story to tell. You have to have an interest, a passion in what you're photographing. You need to know and understand why you're making the image. You must avoid trying to be 'new' or taking a shot to please others. You have to be you.  It is therefore important to know who you are. What moves you, what angers you, what saddens you. Be engaged with life, embrace it and be a person you would like to know.

You may be thinking, "I know all this already"- well, so do I, but in 2011 I felt I didn't stay true to this due to distractions like gear, social networking and other 'side-shows'. In 2012, I'm going to try to make images that are authentic, tell a story and convey some passion.

Am I talking rubbish? Do you think differently and approach your photography in a different way? (I am, of course, excluding work done for clients which have a different set of criteria, often defined by the client.) Let me know your thoughts.

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