Thursday, May 29, 2008

Doing things differently

Why do things the same as everyone else? Why follow in other people's footsteps? It's so easy to blur the line between learning how you should do something and doing something the way some one else thinks you should. Oye...

I started thinking about this - in terms of photography mostly - because I was "enlisted" to take photos of the partners at our firm. They wanted the normal head shots that you see most firms displaying on their walls and websites. I did the shots and I feel dissatisfied with them. In truth, I hate them. They have no character, no personality, and they don't accurately reflect the kind of photography that we do. If I had the boldness to step outside the norm, I might have created something unique, creative, and amazing. I just kept to the standard boring shot and now I'm frustrated and worried. I'm worried they won't like the images because I don't. How can I give work to a client that I don't like? I loathe it. I dread it. And yet, I chose the boring shots instead of something more creative.

Perhaps I could have done both - boring and creative - and then let them decide which they would prefer. I didn't feel like I could though. I felt restricted by time and the personalities of the people I was shooting. I feel like I need to stop letting what I think other people want influence my creativity. I need to deliver what they never knew they wanted, but what they end up loving. ::sigh::

I feel like I allow myself to slip into shooting for what other people expect. If I always do this, I will never exceed their expectations. I will only just meet them. I am not content to just meet people's expectations. I want our clients to be in awe of the product that we give them. I'm tired of being average, thinking averagely, and producing average work. I'm tired of allowing the industry standards to dictate how I approach photography as an art. I'm going to try and start over. To think differently about expectations and to deliver something that doesn't just meet my client's expectations, but far exceeds them.

I'm going to be me. I'm going to put life and joy into ALL my work. I'm tired of trying to prove that I'm capable and mature. I'm not mature and I am capable. And the two can go together quite nicely. I'm impulsive, talkative, random, and silly. I laugh too easily and I sometimes say things that don't make sense. And yet, I love life and people. I love photography and making beautiful things. I love thinking and talking deeply. I love reading and writing. I love dancing. And all of these things make me who I am today. And I'm okay with that. I'm okay with being me. I've never wanted to be me before and I've spent my whole life trying to be a combination of other people. I think that I have stunted my creativity and my ability to "fly" because I have never noticed that I have wings. I've been so busy looking at other people's wings and watching them fly, that I haven't even tried to get off the ground with the wings that have been uselessly sitting on my back. So - I'm going to start trying. And I'm going to fall - a lot. But I am going to stop trying to be someone else and stop trying to figure out who I am - and I'm just going to be.

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