How I lost my Creative Energy and then got it back!
The making of this video is what got my creative energy back. Read the story below after watching this video. Please use headphones and maximize the screen (LARGE) to really appreciate this video.
How I Lost My Mojo…
Busy Season – Lots of Work:
The busy season is upon us right now, and for me that means I am out there working long hours, photographing families on the beach, doing sales presentations and working really hard in my business. It is full-on right now, This is good for business and for cash-flow but there is a negative side to having your business running red-hot.
I find that when I’m super busy and there is so much happening in my business and life, that stress starts to creep in. I don’t notice it at first, I’m too busy doing stuff, fixing stuff and pleasing customers. After all this is the business I created and these customers are here to experience my photography services and are willing to invest quite a lot of money in their photographs and prints.
Energy Levels Drop:
The first signs of being over-worked and stressed out, are my energy levels start to drop. I’m normally a bit of a fitness freak, running, surfing, kiteboarding, the occasional gym session, but over the last month or so I have not set foot in my local gym. (I have gone kiteboarding though)
I had no energy for that. I wasn’t that tired, but just didn’t have excess energy to exercise. I had no drive to exercise.
These were the first signs that I was over-worked
Creativity Takes a Dive:
Not only did my physical energy drop, but I started feeling flat.
Uninspired, and my creativity took a dive… south.
Felt like I was just going through the motions and not really enjoying the things that I normally loved to do.
This sucks! Why do things when you don’t enjoy them?
Feeling Flat & Uninspired!
Of course there were moments when I was super fired up too, but overall I was feeling flat.
A little bit down too, if you know what I mean. A bit grumpy.
and then I would notice a beautiful sunset,
and I would think to myself – “I should be photographing this, it’s awesome!” but I just don’t feel like it? So I would force myself to shoot one…
Why was I feeling so flat?
Because my creative energy was GONE!
and for me that’s a very scary thing!
How I Got My Creative Energy Back!
Here is My Story:
Last weekend I went away to a “model shootout” with a bunch of other photographers, models, makeup & hair artists and one body painter. Every year one of the photographers rents out a holiday house (in this case 2 holiday houses) and invites a select few photographers and models to come along and share ideas, create beautiful images and just hang out. I got invited again.
Feeding Off Others Energy:
After I arrived (a day late because I was too busy to get away from my business), I met a few of the models and re-connected with the photographers that I had met last year, plus introduced myself to the new ones.
Everyone was busy shooting, getting their body-paint done, makeup and hair or just hanging out.
I could feel the energy in the air and the creativity around me was amazing.
I started tapping into this energy, started feeling my creativity coming back.
It’s an amazing feeling, kind of like a drug – but better!
Trying Something New:
Most of the other photographers were shooting glamour or fashion (checkout my course on model flow-posing here), but I wanted to do something different.
Something I had never done before. Something I had always wanted to do but had never had the energy or time or the right model to do it with.
Then I met Lara. She is an experienced model from Sydney. I recognized her from last year – but we had never worked together.
We chatted about her modelling, what she wanted to achieve from the weekend and what she had done in the past.
We hung out – played table tennis and got to know each other – as one artist to another.
She had never attempted underwater photography before and was keen to give it a go.
So, we photographed underwater, and because she has a dance background we got some great images. It was quite chilly though!
We worked again underwater that evening, and got more great images. This was starting to be a lot of fun!
My creative energy was starting to flow. YES!
I was feeling a lot better – much more like my old-self.
Why, cause I was feeding off the energy from Lara and all the other creative people in the house.
Loved it. I was an energy magnet! (normally I’m the energy generator – giving others energy – inspiring others)
Shoot For Yourself:
The next morning I was ready to create that personal project.
Yes, the underwater images were great, but I had done them before, and been recognized for my underwater art.
I wanted to challenge myself, do something new, something I had never done before!
Getting Inspired Again:
I showed Lara a few art videos that really inspired me, and then we talked about the video shoot.
Planned it a little, not too much, mainly ’cause I wanted to just go with the flow – you know, see what happens. Too many plans and we would stifle the creative process.
I wanted our combined energy to be in-sync and for both of us to create something unusual and beautiful.
The video above is what we created together: Do you like it?
It took about 2 hours to film, we shot about 70 different scenes with 2 different cameras. My Canon 5D II with an 85mm f1.8 and my Canon 60D with 24-105mm F4 lens on a glidecam stabiliser. And it took me over 6 hours to edit this video (plus a few glasses of red wine) on Sony Vegas using Magic Bullet Looks for toning and I purchased the sound track on premiumbeat.com
3 Steps to Getting Your Mojo Back!
Here are the 3 steps that worked for me:
STEP 1: Get away from your work environment:
If you work at home, like I do, then you will need to go somewhere else.
Get away from the source of your stress. Get away from all the distractions. Go someplace new – maybe even into nature somewhere?
STEP 2. Hang-out with other creative people.
Meet some new creative people, surround yourself with people that have a lot of energy
STEP 3. Create something new, something you have never done before. A Personal Challenge!
Challenge yourself. I’m sure there is something out there that you have been wanting to attempt, but have never got to it before. You can even try a new sport, activity, travel to a new destination.and shoot something for you, not for a client, or a model, or a boss – shoot something for you.
Just try something new!
More? Checkout this book by Nicole S Young called the Inspired Photographer – it’s awesome!
Here is the interview I did with Nicole – check it out
What do you think? Please leave me your opinion below. Cheers, Brent