It’s That Time Of Year Again
Drum roll please. . .
Welcome to the New Year. To some, 2016 seemed odd and strange with all the pop culture deaths that occurred and to others it was a dream. Though, when we put all of that aside, we now are faced with reviewing and improving personally upon last year.
Today, I would like to take a little time to give a few tips that help me stay focused, motivated and creative year round. Photographer or not I think everyone can take something from the guide and put it to good use.
Tip One: WRITE OFTEN
Writing helps us create the structure, and gather our thoughts on our mission as landscape photographers. Also, while helping any other part of life that challenges us in our everyday lives. The outside influence can often be overwhelming. Sometimes, we are distracted by our family lives, second jobs, and anything else life throws at us. No matter what it is writing can be a cornerstone strategy for improving our focus.
Here is a list of ways you can write to stay organized:
- Whiteboard – “my personal favorite”
*Remember the more often you take the time to express yourself, the more you engrain an intention to reflect and focus on your core mission.
Tip Two: DAY DREAMING & Silence
Nothing helps creativity like some good ole day dreaming and brainstorming after. I know in my own life I often stop and let my mind go wild. Sometimes, I actually envision photographs that I want to create from that silent space before I even take a step. Silence is a powerful energy and often when my creativity is struggling it is because I’ve forgotten to embrace silence.
Benefits of Day Dreaming & Silence
- Improved Productivity & Focus
- New Ideas & Visions
*Daydreaming without action may not be productive and I find it helps to write down our ideas afterwards.
Tip Three: Start Close In
For this tip I would like to refer to a poem by David Whyte. Remember, no matter how many tips you follow it is all about finding your own unique way.
Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take. Start with the ground you know, the pale ground beneath your feet, your own way to begin the conversation. Start with your own question, give up on other people’s questions, don’t let them smother something simple. To hear another’s voice, follow your own voice, wait until that voice becomes an intimate private ear that can then really listen to another. Start right now take a small step you can call your own don’t follow someone else’s heroics, be humble and focused, start close in, don’t mistake that other for your own. Start close in, don’t take the second step or the third, start with the first thing close in, the step you don’t want to take. - David Whyte
TIP Four: Simplify. Simplify. Simplify!
As a landscape photographer it is important to stay focused, and by simplifying our work flow, we can achieve that. Whether it is how we organize our visions by using whiteboards, or software to organize photos. Each step we take in decluttering our lives allows for us to express creativity effectively.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST TIP FIVE: Connect
Feeling connected to our art is important and it applies to everything we do in our lives. If you aren’t feeling connected, I would take some time to think about how you can engage. I have used these tips to reengage over and over again in my own art and they have helped me stay focused in moments when I felt lost.
The hardest part is starting the process, and often that is the part we need to begin connecting to. Finding others with similar interests can also be helpful, new personal connections always help me connect back to my own unique visions.
I wish you a New Year of Productivity, Creativity, and Focus!
Happy New Years, Jacob