And I’m not talking lenses or gear…………
For those of you who live two lives instead of one, although you still need a photographic life, it’s often very hard to keep focus. Work, bills, kids, and many other distractions, as I call them, come to the forefront. Many of these ARE important but thy can take away from or photographic life, but only if you let them.
I am too in this mix. Although I am moving towards a full time photographic life, there will always be things in “real” life that I do and will always want to do, I try to find ways to involve them in my passion of photography. Going to the store the other day for a prescription of pain pills for my finger that I crushed at my “other job” I noticed a bird sitting on a light post in the parking lot, singing away. This guy was only about 4 or 5 inches long but he was making noise like he was the king of the air. I thought “how would I capture that?” Although I thought of the beauty of nature and the contrast of nature in the city, my lasting intent was how would I capture.
This is how I keep my focus. I am not a nature photographer in my career, but I do love it and shoot it occasionally, but my love for all things photographic keeps me thinking about it. I am always putting the two together. Life/Photography, inseparable to me. My latest project is a art project inspired by the music of “Nine Inch Nails” which I was listening to at, you guessed it, my “other job”.
This is how I keep my focus.
If you have the desire and passion to live a photographic life, you can live with it within the life that we all have. Using the things that all of us see do and experience is just one way to keep your focus. Reading books and magazines, (that I usually fall asleep to) is a great way to keep the passion alive in times where life gets in the way. I listen to many podcasts, both related to photography and business and that not only keeps me thinking, but sometimes inspires me with new ideas and possible directions I want to go.
Looking at other photographers work. We all do it, we all think someones work is better than ours. Well, it might be more refined, more directed. but it is their work, not ours so it is different. I think of it that way. Not that the images I see are not spectacular, but I try to keep it in perspective. I do get ideas from others, but I don’t want to copy. It’s like a guitar player playing only one artist music. You become a copy of them and no one wants to hear or see that. Woody Guthrie once said, “some people steal from one person, I steal from everyone”.
Staying in focus is the true battle for many photographers, but it can be done. As a wise photographer, teacher, pod caster and online friend told me, make a plan and stick to it.
By keeping in focus with photography in either of your lives, you can become a better photographer, and a better person.