“Art isn't about being good; it's about being creative.” ~Miles McDermott
I love that quote. Even better is that an 18 year old kid taught me that concept. If you promise not to tell anyone, I'll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I feel at tad bit inferior. I know, one would never guess it, but it's true. I've always compared myself to others, which is sooo bad for the ego. Yet at the same time, I am always up for a challenge – to reinvent myself, to be a better me. So when I decided to gear my life toward photography and design to satisfy the yearnings of my under-worked right brain, I discovered there are a lot of people out there who are better than me artistically. Not just by a little bit. By a landslide.
In addition to photography and digital design, I paint. I've had people come into my home and gasp at some of the artwork on my wall – that my mother painted. In contrast, I've had people come to my home who have never even noticed my mother's art on my wall, but have gasped at mine. I'm not a watercolor artist like my mom. I am an abstract expressionist. It's all relative.
Which brings me back to my young friend who happens to be an art student, and he's good. While hanging out in my room one evening (everyone hangs out there, it's my she-man cave), I was showing one of his friends my art and said, “well I don't know if everyone would think it's good, but I like it.” Which is when he gently scolded me and taught me that art isn't about being good; it's about being creative. Say it with me. Now memorize it. Surely I'm not the only one who looks at her work and has these feelings of self doubt.
I'm not a bad photographer. I have a pretty good eye. Oh, you can be certain there are tens of thousands of other people who are way better than I am. I have met some of them in the Arizona Photographer's Group. I do have one thing that not a single one of them has, however. ME. My heart, my thoughts and my emotions are all things I draw upon when I'm shooting someone's soul. That's what makes me truly happiest of all.
I think that's the beauty of the PAC – the diversity, the knowledge, and the experiences that can be found and shared in the group. I learned more in chatting with one of the members of the group in an hour than I'd learned in some of the photography courses I've taken. I loved that this pro took the time to flip through my Kindle Fire and critique my work. He helped me see things from a little bit different perspective; more importantly he helped me be brave. My next photo shoot turned out to be pretty dang awesome.
The image I've chosen to share with you is one of the out-takes from that shoot. It's clearly not the “official” senior portrait we chose. However, it was the most fun I've ever had during a photo-shoot. We were able to completely capture the essence of her soul, and I think that's why I love this shot so much.
So my photography tip is to be you. Don't worry about being good; be creative. It's all about the journey… being better tomorrow than you were today. I'll never be a photographer for Vogue, but that's not my goal. I want to capture someone's soul and immortalize that perfect moment in time when they are exactly who they are…. and I'm the one who was able to shoot it.
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