Genova, Italy. 2010.
Last week’s posts on putting your ideas into action seemed to really resonate. I posted BEGIN and then BEGIN. AGAIN. Begin Again was aimed at the working photographer, this one’s aimed at all of us – the amateurs, the ones that do this because we love it, paycheck or no paycheck. Heck, some of us don’t earn money at all with our images, we spend it! This one’s for you.
If you’re coming to believe that your creativity needs legs before it comes into the world, if you buy the notion that a great idea for a photograph isn’t a great photograph until you make it happen, then perhaps it’s time to begin pushing your creativity a little harder towards action. If you read BEGIN and got fired up but simply had no idea where to begin, here’s some ideas…
Pick a personal project. Perhaps it’s one of many – too many – that you’ve got on little pieces of paper and stored in the “One day I’d like to…” part of your brain. Pick one. Don’t deliberate. Pick one. Now do it. Don’t start tomorrow or next week. Begin now. If it’s a project about coffee shops in your end of town, grab you camera, a 50mm lens and go scout it. Don’t come back until you’ve got some images and a list of shots you want. And a timeline. Stop talking about your great ideas. Make them happen.
You’ve been meaning to print the best of your work. Or put it into a book. Begin. Make a new collection in Lightroom or a new folder in Bridge and begin the process. Open your browser and make an album on mPix,com or download the software for Blurb.com. Begin. Don’t think about it. Begin. And now set a deadline. I will send this work to mPix.com before the end of the month. I will have my book printed by the end of July. Begin and set a deadline.
Still wish you understood off-camera flash? Reading all the Joe McNally books in the world isn’t going to help until you pull out your flash, put it on a stand, gel that sucker up and begin to play. Pull your flash out. Right now. Play with it. Now set one hour, one day, one weekend, aside right now and don’t come home until you’ve had some fun and become a little more comfortable. Understanding comes through play. Go play with it. Begin.
Whatever it is – reading up on a long-gone master of the craft, beginning a 365 project, printing your work, learning a new technique, embarking on that personal project you never have time for. Begin. Life doesn’t get longer if you wait it out. We get less time as life goes on, not more. Begin. And when those thoughts arise that say, “Yeah, I’ll begin, but first I have to….” Ignore them. First you have to begin. The rest can wait. Your ideas are waiting for only one thing to be born – you.
If, once you’ve begun, you want help on making your ideas happen, then take a look at Making Ideas Happen, a solid book by Scott Belsky.