Fear and Movement: For Art's Sake Project. Professional Photographer's Challenge
You know how you look back at images you made 2 years ago and think, what the heck was I thinking? Growing and changing is an important part of art. The biggest road block to us progressing in this way, is fear. As artists, fear can play a big part in what we do. Art by nature is something so personal, you have to put yourself out there, unsure of the reactions of others, unsure of how they will see what you are doing. On top of that, and probably even worse, we judge ourselves.
Fear can be our biggest enemy in business as well. It can hold us back, it can keep us from risking or trying new things for fear that our audience will not respond. The consequences are higher when your art is your business. If they don't respond, you don't get paid, you can't support your family, yourself, or buy the new iPhone 6 ;)
Over the years this has been a struggle for me. I have found, however, that if I don't risk a bit, try new things, step out of my comfortable box of doing what I know I am good at, things become stagnant. My art and my business need to be moving and progressing, improving and growing. That will never happen when I am paralyzed by fear. It will never happen if I am creating the same things over and over. This could mean shooting the same locations, the same type of lighting situations that you are comfortable in, same type of subjects…etc. I am not suggesting you forget all of those comfortable mastered skills, especially not during someone's wedding! But take a day or two a month to try something you don't think you can do, you don't think you will be good at. Maybe it will come out like crap or maybe you will discover that you LOVE shooting back lit! Either way that is how we grow, and how we take things to the next level.
As with most things I think it is all in your perspective. Fear can be a good thing. It can keep us pushing and making our art better each time. It can keep us from getting lazy or sloppy with our work. A little bit of fear is healthy and has a purpose for sure.
So go ahead and face those fears! Afraid of shooting in full sun? Take 2 hours at mid day and go at it. Afraid you can't use studio lighting? Set up some lights and take some self portraits! It doenst have to be good, it really doesn't. Give yourself that permission to create something that might just be bad. Do it for the sake of facing your fears and growing as an artist and as a business. What are YOU afraid of?
EDITED WITH DELTA 3200 FROM THE MEMENTO PHOTOSHOP ACTIONS COLLECTION
This week's image speaks of my fears in two ways. First is in the situation in which I shot it. There is an abandoned house on my street that I just love. It has the amazing multicolored tin roof, plants growing out of it, chipped paint, it's just beautiful. I don't know who owns it but I wanted to shoot it. I have a serious fear of doing things that I am not suppose to do, that could "get me in trouble". I was raised in Catholic school and you don't break the rules there! Not that I am advocating that you all trespass and break rules. In fact trespassing is very bad. But I was going to be barely on the property line for my shot, it was really close to the street. This was something that I wanted to do to face one of my fears. I had to stand out on my own street in a white nightgown and hat in front of any of my neighbors driving by. Also keep in mind I live in the south, people here will shoot you for trespassing. So my fear was pretty warranted actually! ;) I set up my tripod and stood just barely on the property for my shot. My heart was pounding the whole time and I was trying to think of a good pose at the same time.
The pose I chose is to represent how we need to love ourselves enough to face our fears and be ok with whatever the outcome. It also expresses how we turn inward when we get afraid and don't open ourselves up. I hope that this inspires you in some way to face your own fears. And please don't call the cops on me for trespassing.
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