Passion and Vision

In Inspiration, Mobile

We believe that gear is good but that passion and vision are better.

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cornwallmosaic
instagram photos from cornwall 2013

Passion is not a word I would normally use to define how I operate in my daily life. As some of you know, I’m a moseyer by nature but I definitely have that indefinable *thing* that drives us all toward the pursuit of something that grabs our hearts and minds.

I read an article recently whose author talked about the need to define WHAT our passions are. It caught me short, because as I’ve moved toward photography as a second (or third, or fourth) career in the past few years, I assumed that I WAS following my passion. Who knew that the simple images I was taking to accompany my blog posts back in 2008 would lead me in that direction. I had a tiny little Canon point-and-shoot and didn’t feel the need to have anything more sophisticated. My husband was shooting amazing photos with his Canon 5D Mark II and I wanted nothing to do with that heavy, clumsy apparatus. I was happy. When I did eventually upgrade to a mirrorless Panasonic GF1, I loved it because it was small and compact. It allowed me to do everything I felt I needed.

I’ve upgraded a few times since then (my sister now has my GF1, and it’s still one of my favourite cameras of all time) and I now use everything from my cellphone to those heavy, clumsy apparatus I used to abhor. But not surprisingly, it’s my cellphone I use the most. I don’t like carrying a handbag so whatever I can fit into a pocket is what goes with me when I head out the door. I don’t even like being encumbered by a camera slung over my shoulder.  You would think this might hinder me given that I increasingly identify as a photographer (as well as a video editor) in my professional life, but I’ve found that the ease of shooting what I see on my wanders with a quick lift of my hand feeds my passion for visual storytelling and allows me to shoot in my professional life without the need to overthink. Too much.

I realize, though, that I need to keep my focus on that passion and feed it, otherwise it becomes a pointless exercise.

Have you defined your passion?  It’s an ongoing work-in-progress for me.

cheers,
kim

Manifesto_vision_sq2

17 Comments

  1. Beautifully written. I’m trying to feed my passion, but chocolate cake and coffee are doing a number on my waistline…. 🙂

  2. Sometimes I wonder if by defining photographic passion too specifically, we restrict our mindset. As a photographer, I love to shoot many different things. Just like in life I have many different hobbies. There are some that I am more passionate about, but don’t I do them because I have some sort of passion for them?

    I’d love to read the article that you referenced, if you wouldn’t mind sharing 😀

    • Jennifer, you hit the nail on the head for me. I don’t like to overthink anything, especially something like passion. Why not live it rather than define it? But at the same time, I’ve found that I need to refocus on what I’m (for lack of a better word) passionate about from time to time, so that I don’t sink into lethargy or so my cameras (or books, or paintbrushes, or whatever….) don’t collect dust on the shelf.

      I had to dig around a bit to find the article since I couldn’t remember myself where I’d found it! I like what he mentions in the last paragraph…. “When a person is following a passion, the endurance and commitment required comes naturally.” That rings true, but even so, I don’t think it’s that simple.
      http://rising.blackstar.com/defining-passion-in-photography.html

  3. i love this Kim. I am getting ready for a weekend long photography workshop and one of my instructors had us do a lot of identifying of the “why” “who” and the “what” of our work. It was an exhausting, yet powerful pre-class exercise.
    Intention over all is an awesome thing.

  4. Great food for thought, here, Kim. I’m not sure I ever have actively defined my passion or feel that doing so is essential to progress.
    But when I considered it, the first thing I came up with was “seeing.” The gear helps insofar as it lets me best hold what I see, but the seeing is really the driving force for me.

    • Debbie, I think that’s why I had such a hard time writing this post. I had to figure out if passion felt like an authentic description for how I pursue the things I enjoy – I like how you worded it – is it essential to my progress? Thank YOU for the food for thought.

  5. Love this, Kim. I remember the first time I heard, “Follow your bliss.” So light and loving. Like a permission slip to float through life, led by your heart (or passion). Then the anxiety hit. Life in America, as a middle-class, light-pigmented female, with more options than many have in this country, meant that I could pretty much choose to follow my passion….whatever it may be (it took years to really understand how fortunate I was). Still, finding the thing that would bring me passion — in a career setting especially — has been not just frustrating but at times heartbreaking when the right path just wasn’t clear. Feeling like a failure for not knowing what I was supposed to “be” used to consume way too much space. But life has a way of steering us (or grabbing the wheel from my tightly clutched hands) to exactly where we’re meant to go, as you’ve so beautifully expressed. Only with age — and through the experiences of seeing what we all go through — have I been able to let go of the belief that everyone but me has “it” figured out, makes perfect pancakes, works out every day, and knows what their supposed to do with, as Mary Oliver calls it, “this one precious life.” Whew! Think I’ll take my dogs for a walk…maybe snap an iPhone shot or two along the way. x

    • Love this, Deb. I’ve often stated that work shouldn’t have to be our passion – it can just be “work”. But social media can make us feel that we’re missing out if we’re not chasing the dream. I’m often happiest just following my own meandering path, career or otherwise!

  6. The notion that we should define our passions doesn’t fit with my view of passion. For me, it’s liquid and often reticent and reluctant to be defined. Either way, I owe much to your generosity in igniting the passion in others. So, thank you and keep on moseying.

  7. I can already tell we are kindred spirits, because I don’t carry handbags, EITHER! This is why even my dresses have pockets! Oh….passion! What a weird thing. I’m to the point where as long as I have Evan, my kitties, a camera (even if it’s just my iPhone) and a little bit of time to make pictures, I’m over the moon happy. Those are some of my main passions, right there.

    Also, I love your comment above about social media …so true.

  8. I’m really glad to read your words. I have always been one of thought that it doesn’t matter what your tool, as long as one has the passion then the art appears. It could be a homemade pinhole camera. This just makes so much sense to me. Thank you.

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