It has been a little while since my last blog entry and I wanted to put something together by way of a reflection on the last twelve months. It’s vast world we live in and the frantic immediacy that drives today’s media, following our dreams should easier by achieving balance between everyday responsibilities, and doing stuff we love the most.
This has been a fantastic year for me. I have been busy in my day job, with a lot of travel, conferences, personal photography projects and making a start at putting some words together about the thing I love the most. It has has kept my passion fuelled for photography in a way I never imagined and given me a real desire to take things even further in 2017.
The reality is following our dreams can be challenging, particularly when you have responsibilities of a day job, financial responsibilities and a family to consider. Manoeuvring and plate spinning is crucial for keeping everything well fed. Sometimes we overheat our responsibilities and leave our dreams for later…I’ve been guilty of that at times, this year. Getting comfortable at leaving things for later is extremely dangerous for any discipline you are looking to excel in. Don't get me wrong, I love my day job, it is such a diverse and interesting industry. I believe in the work we do, I enjoy the travel, meeting new people and working with existing customers. Having a day job, allows a lot of my photography to be without the pressure and deadlines I know other photographers face.
Not everything is perfect though, because I love photography, I love trying to capture images that show development from previous shots I’ve taken and progression in my work. I have to recognise that in the last couple of months, I have allowed that part of my world to cool down, which is really frustrating. So, here I have an improvement opportunity, to get back on the saddle and look forward to the coming year, which is great.
Without further ado, I’ll tell you some tips that I have picked up from fellow photographers that I personally think work really great:
Let your passion lead you
The best camera to use ? Well it doesn’t have to be a top end DSLR, it’s the one you have with you, even if it’s the camera on your phone. There will be always opportunities to get some shots. Even if it’s a genre of photography you haven't tried, like street photography or photographing your environment or surroundings . If you are passionate about what you do, you won’t have such a hard time in keeping yourself fuelled with energy. It doesn’t matter how tired you could be at the end of a hard day, if you are passionate about photography, you’ll feel guilty if you at least didn’t watch some good pictures at a slow pace at the end of the day.
Productivity Tools for Organising your Mess
Being productive and time efficient is key for keeping balance between responsibilities and the things you love. If you don’t have a system, it will be hard to keep up with everything, and eventually you could feel frustrated if you don’t accomplish such balance.
I have tried many productivity tools, but I have stick just with the following. These are great, I know there are a bunch out there, but I will only mention those tools that I use to keep myself organised.
Dropbox is where I keep all my files for quick and easy access no matter the place or device.Google Keep is where I keep my random notes handy.Insightly is an amazing and inexpensive CRM system. I started using this earlier in the year and its a great tool for managing relationships, projects and can also work almost like a to-do list or a task manager.Notebook for ideas and many other good stuff.Watch because time will run out quickly if you don’t mind it.
And no, Moleskine doesn’t sponsor me, I just love their products.
Rituals are good, routines not so much
Routines may be boring, but rituals are something beautiful. Rituals are those small things you do every day that keep your mind at peace (ok, I may have OCD, but I don't care). So don't feel sorry if you start doing some routine things that are related to the things you love. Not everything is about inspiration. Inspiration is great, but the muses aren't as generous as we would love them to be. Therefore, we need to have discipline for inspiration to grow into great results.
Ok, losing ourselves in the marvellous tentacles of the web is great, but if we don't control them, we will procrastinate more and more. Recently I made a real effort to limit the amount of times I beamed into Facebook and what a difference it seemed to make. You can give your web browsing some routine or ritual, and even schedule it so it doesn't get out of hand.
I try to keep everything organised, from photography articles, to social media and YouTube channels. Maybe you work as a professional 8 hours-a-day photographer, or maybe you are just dreaming about accomplishing it. Every photographer will have their formula, and I'm just sharing mine with you. I’m also trying to encourage you to keep your passion fuelled, because you are not alone.
For me the best example is Ted Forbes, who left his day job at a University as a teacher, and now has a sustainable YouTube channel thanks to his passion and love for Photography.