In November, I attended Firefly Institute photo camp both as a teacher and a student. In between teaching my video classes, I attended as many photography classes as I could, taught by incredibly talented women.
At the end of the four days, simply because I was occupied with my classes and editing a camp video, I realized that I had taken exactly 17 photos. In four days. At a photography camp. It was okay though… the time was well spent, both with the lessons I learned and the heart connections I made with other like-minded women – the fact that I had 17 photos was a bonus.
But in the moments of downtime when I managed to grab an image or two, or sat to write in my notebook, I had a few realizations. Nothing altogether surprising or mindblowing, but definitely wake-up calls that had been gently prodding me for some time.
I realized that in the transition from photography hobbyist to career, I was seldom making the kinds of images that spurred me on when I first picked up a camera. I had built a website, done some research on what I should be charging for my work, thought about my branding, and been lucky enough to learn on the job with wonderful clients who seemed happy with my work.
But I realized I was taking a whole lot of portraits and headshots. And while I do love providing that service for clients, what I really truly love to shoot is STUFF. Food. Art. And artists interacting with their work. And I realized that I wasn’t practising extreme criteria when making decisions for my career – that when I take on work it needs to be “YES” and not just “okay”.
It feels appropriate that of my 17 photos, most are in the style of what I most love to shoot – a reminder to me not to get sidetracked. The “life’s too short” mantra might be a little overused, but it’s true – why waste time on work or pastimes that don’t enrich us at our core.
Get out there and shoot what you love.