You’ve probably noticed that lately my blog has mixed photos shot for clients with photos taken throughout my day-to-day traveling and what-not. I’ve tried keeping the two separate for awhile, but in truth, each informs the other. To just include one is always only telling half the story. What in the world is my story, anyway?
That’s what this has been about. I’ve done loads of work to learn how to write marketing copy. In fact, I have spent years studying writing, and coaching other writers on everything from business writing and press releases to screenplays and stage plays. But blogging is different. It’s supposed to be a log, right? Like, of what goes on inside my head, I guess.
And, somewhere in there, underneath all of the technique and brand essence is my story. It’s ever-evolving. And, it’s what I bring to my clients and how I approach assignments on any given day, so it’s deeply impactful on the work I’m creating.
One day, my story might be that it’s rainy. I’m affected by weather. My right knee aches in the rain. Sometimes I accidentally say my left knee aches, but it’s definitely my right. I have a hard time naming right and left off the top of my head, but I have an incredible sense of direction. Seems odd to me, but I can usually identify North more quickly than I can identify right from left. But I digress… It would be more accurate to say it aches when there is a drop in air pressure, which usually happens shortly before it rains. Which means that by the time it’s raining, I’m not in the greatest of spirits.
Well, I say not in the greatest of spirits, but as my family often tells me, my “bad moods,” are like most people’s neutral to slightly good moods. I’d say I naturally vibrate pretty high. So any kind of physical ailment that takes me down a notch is just a small thing. But, still, it impacts me.
Luckily, I have this incredible ability to focus. For instance, if it’s raining, but I’m in California, and it’s been sunny for 10 days straight, I can focus on the feeling of refreshment it brings to see a change in weather in San Diego.
I especially love to create photos. When I am shooting, I am not thinking of anything else. I am fully immersed there – I am focused on tuning in to my subject, on seeing what there is to see, on capturing some story or essence that is beckoning me to reveal it. When I am shooting, I do not feel my right knee aching, I have no notice of the temperature outside, and frankly, I have no worries. I don’t think of anything else when I’m shooting besides the process of composing a shot — constantly looking for truths to document, for nuances of life that inspire recording.
Friends who have worked with me have said, “You’re an entirely different person when you’re shooting.” And, sometimes I fear that colleagues wouldn’t take me so seriously, if they hung out with me outside of a photo session.
So, there are these weird dichotomies — the photograph-making me versus the hanging-out goofball me. And, there is the walking along getting inspired photography work, and there is the work I am paid to show up and create.
Something I am so fascinated with is the merging of opposites. I don’t believe myself to be dichotomous. I think have varied influences. Perhaps even divergent influences, or so they might appear on the surface. But they blend in me. I am the spontaneous, fly by the seat of my pants fun girl, AND the laser-focus, tunnel-vision, tuning in with serious concentration to always get the shot photography pro. My work is both walking along the ocean and trying to create an image that conveys the feeling the scene is instilling in me, AND the woman with a big shoot tomorrow who needs to get back to a wifi connection so I can check email and hurry off to bed.
I wonder if we are all like this — each with our contradictory traits within ourselves. And, then, the art of self-mastery is perhaps the elegance of the dance we create as we move gracefully from one personality aspect to the other, knowing instinctively which should come out when.