I recently read a post that Jasmin Star wrote about creativity and it was well-timed. Now and then I need inspiration, I need more creativity, so I study famous photographers, or explore a new technique or look at paintings and use of light etc…In the end every single thing I do to try and get better at photography is photography related. Which should be, in theory, logical. But is it?
Jasmin’s post reminded me of my former teacher self, the things I used to believe in and coach people about, and had a bit of a “ah ha!” moment to be honest. Sometimes you need to read or hear it from someone else and suddenly it falls into place because you find yourself in it.
I believe creativity is one of the best skills to have, so we can solve problem, ask questions, so we can feel something new and pleasurable, so we can foster and nurture, so we can feel and understand more, so we can see more, so we can find better ways to do things that are not working or that need changing. We find it everywhere and it helps us in many ways, and we can make it grow, we can actually learn to be better creatives! But, not by pushing that one thing we want to become better at! Instead, I believe, by doing plenty of other things!
Like Jasmin, I stopped, not voluntarily, doing the very things that were nurturing that creativity, in irony to develop my photography creativity…. Not only did I enjoy these things, but I also valued and found richness in them: reading, taking the time to do nothing (a luxury when you have two kids!), dancing like a nutter in my house, listening to world music, playing a sport etc..! whaaat!? Thinking about it, it actually makes me a little sad that I let go of these things without really seeing it happening, to focus all my energy in one single thing: to get better at photography. I don’t regret channeling energy into it, I still want to do that, but there is a healthier and much more efficient way to get, probably better results. I understand, know and need all the other things to be me, so that all of this contributes to what I can do, what I can offer and how I am doing it in my photography, in my own unique way.
So little by little, I am making time, I am slowing down, I am giving my photography only brains a breather and recharging my personal creative batteries so I can use them when needed, into my photography. Sometimes, I put my camera down and I pick up a book or a ukulele (update on that soon!), and I have recently started to shoot on film with a vintage, complicated (to me!) camera so I also put myself out of my comfort zone, and that too, I believe, requires creativity. Although it is to do with photography, it is a different kind, it’s personal, it’s about figuring stuff out, and slowing down. Oh, and last but not least, I also take the chance to play with my 6 year old because you can’t beat playing with My Little Poneys, dinosaurs and legos all at the same time to channel that much needed fun we need so desperately in our adult life!
So, with you I am sharing a few more of the scans of my analog journey (#myanalogjourney series on Instagram) from my first experience with a Leica. Taking more time to take a shot (or not take it at all for that matter) really did me good when I was then shooting for clients and even for my own family photos. To sum up, my note to self today is: Do more of what you love, especially the stuff just for the fun of it, the benefits will be endless.
Scans by: Bang Bang Geng (Publika, Kuala Lumpur)