sidetracked

In Digital, Inspiration

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.

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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.

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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”.

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(That’s our very own Staci Kennelly getting the shot, as seen in her “be a beginner” post.)

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.

cheers,
kim

6 Comments

  1. Amen! I struggle with my discomfort with taking people photos when I should be celebrating those things that I love shooting. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Even without the duty of shooting for the camp — I walked away with only a modest number of images. And I too was reminded about why I delved into making photographs. I’m not sure I’m fully focused back where I need to be — but I’ve definitely am moving away from the “okay sure” mindset.

    It was so good to spend a little time with you at Camp Kim!

  3. I lose sight of my photography goals ALL of the time. Thank you for the good advice xoxo

  4. There is a quiet joy in everyone of these images, coming I think, from the place in you that prompted you to pick up your camera for them. How wonderful that you are listening to it!

  5. Yes!!! I think it’s cyclical (at least for me) and I’m happy to say that I’m in the cycle of really looking at what I love about photography, not what I think everyone else wants from my photography!

  6. Yes! I have been here so many times and totally agree with you. I very rarely take any pictures at meetups, so 17 is a total bonus. And they are all fabulous.

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