LIDLIPS-100th_4666

This Week’s LIDLIPS

96. Don’t confuse distraction with creativity.

97. There are many ways to cross the chasms.

98. Mistakes happen. Get used to starting over.

99. Listen to the resonance inside.

100. Be prepared for your dreams to come true (at least a few of them).

Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School 96–100!

96. Don’t confuse distraction with creativity.
Creatives often think that they are working their craft when actually they are just really distracted. Saying to yourself “Because I’m a creative, it’s OK for me to [surf the web, hang out on Twitter, watch a movie, play a video game, your favorite distraction here].” Sure there are times when you need to take a break. Be honest about how you spend your time. Learn to tell the difference between procrastination and a creative recharge.

97. There are many ways to cross the chasms.
The more you define your life by your photography, the more you’ll encounter the chasms of self-doubt and lost-enthusiasm. These are common emotions for shooters to go through (again and again). Sometimes our chasms are wide, but shallow. Other times, they may be deep, but narrow. These are the easy chasms. The hard ones are both wide and deep. For the big ones, you have several options: back up and get a running start, build a bridge or take the long way around. The important point to remember is that if you want to get across, you’ll find a way.

98. Mistakes happen. Get used to starting over.
Mistakes happen and work disappears. In the film days, images were lost when the distraction of an engaging conversation in the darkroom lead to the bathing of film in fixer before the developer – resulting in a clear strip of acetate. Today, hard drives get corrupted or memory cards are reformatted before the files are copied off. Get used to the idea that work will be lost. Sometimes it will be your fault. Other times, it will be the oversight of another. Either way, get back to work. If you were creative enough to make a great image one time, you’re creative enough to make another equally compelling image. Sure, it won’t be the same image you made before. Sure, the scene or the moment may never happen again. You can quit. Or you can move forward. It’s your choice. Have a quick tantrum and get back to creating. You’ll likely find that what you create the second time around is more interesting than your first pass.

99. Listen to the resonance inside.
The most difficult lesson to learn about photography has nothing to do with cameras or light. Rather it has to do with embracing your inner voice. We live in a world that incessantly shouts and beams messages to us. Marketers mercilessly pitch solutions to problems that we do not have. Friends are happy to tell us what they think we should do when they have little clue as to what they should do. There is in each of us our own voice – unique from all the others. Listen and learn to trust that subtle voice. Pay attention to it. Discover what its resonance feels like when you encounter a lesson that you need to learn or a scene that you “must” photograph. You will find, without really understanding why, that you resonate with certain people, places and concepts. Let the resonance draw you in and show you what matters for you. Conversely, allow the lack of resonance to guide you away from situations and events that have little to offer you.

100. Be prepared for your dreams to come true (at least a few of them).
Living as a photographer is a tough journey. It is far easier for others to ignore you or put you down than to celebrate your work. Your persistence, passion and originality are a trident that you must carry – even when weary. If you hang on long enough, then your dreams (at least a few of them) will come true. Don’t let the delay in their arrival cause you to dismiss their worth. Your dreams, your hopes, your aspirations all have value – because they are yours. Celebrate the arrival of each and every dream. Then, use the celebration as a stepping stone to continue on with your journey as a photographer.

Previous Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School

The entire LIDLIPS Series

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6 Responses to Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School 96–100

  1. […] and Read More: pixsylated.com Technorati Tags: Lessons,Photo School,Syl Arena Share and […]

  2. John Paul caponigro says:

    Love your series Syl!
    I’m looking forward to the collection.

  3. Doris Ford says:

    Sure like your LIDLIPS– how can I get them all on a few pages?

  4. Rich C says:

    #100 is very true. One year ago I joined forces with a local gallery owner as a partner in the business. I’ve been selling my own photography and doing giclee reproduction for other artists for a year now. And it keeps growing month by month. A slow process, but in the end I am achieving what I set out to!

    Another great list Syl!

  5. […] today’s post- Let’s go back to the Lessons I Didn’t Learn in Photo School. Link HERE. My favorite on these? #98. This one is very true in life and in this class. Don’t expect to […]

  6. […] today’s post- Let’s go back to the Lessons I Didn’t Learn in Photo School. Link HERE. My favorite on these? #98. This one is very true in life and in this class. Don’t expect to […]

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