Thank you my very talented friend for the invitation to be a guest on your blog. Here’s a little insight on what has been reinvigorating my creativity in my own career. Sometimes you need something that seems to be totally unrelated to spark new ways of looking at things. Hope you all enjoy.
Taking it to the Streets…
I will be the first to say that I love my career and all the ups and downs that comes with it — I’ve hit many highs and lows but who hasn’t in this industry? For me, its actually more a way of life than anything; its a part of who I am. I have been asked more than once if I would have changed course if I knew what I know today. The answer is simple…No. I do however, need a tuneup from time to time to feel reconnected to my calling – a commercial photographer for more than 25 years. Its that fine tuning that brings self awareness and with it, the ability to heighten our sense of creativity and passion for what we do.
I have written recently about how Change allows us to explore and challenge ourselves therefore freeing the constraints of our self-imposed limitations. Change is a integral part of growing – for me, it has in part allowed me to reconnect on a whole new level.
I was recently having dinner with a close friend and without getting into too much detail, he presented me with a challenge. His challenge was to look at the world through a new perspective and to record it through the lens of my camera. At first I started taking landscape pictures and abstract angles of buildings, parks and dilapidated structures. For me this wasn’t something new or different. I often take pictures in various cities and towns, until one day I spotted a young man walking on the opposite side of the road lugging and seemly struggling to carry several large cases. He continued to walk, occasionally stopping to readjust the awkward and heavy load.
After watching him for a few more seconds, I quickly crossed the street and without hesitation introduced myself and asked “Do you mind if I get a few shots?” He agreed. I took a few and then realized I didn’t know anything about this person. I put my camera down and started to talk. A few minutes had passed, I noticed that he had become less guarded, more relaxed and natural. He was waiting for the bus, exhausted and more than a little sleep deprived but genuinely seemed happy for the attention. I again picked up my camera and continued to take a few more shots. He was a very humble and engaging young man, an aspiring musician traveling the country in search of his passion with everything he owned on his back. He was working his way up the coast playing at bars and clubs, with the plan to in time return to his family and friends on the east coast. I guess you could say he was on his own journey of self-discovery.
On another occasion I met a very strong, dynamic man that had approached me and my wife while we were walking. Again, I had my camera in hand, standing by my earlier challenge. Of course, I asked for his permission to take a few shots and he agreed but appeared more interested in talking to my wife and almost oblivious to the camera. In less than a few minutes, I captured a powerful, enigmatic personality that evolved and
changed with every click of the shutter. This was a truly remarkable experience I will long remember.
The photographs of these two personalities are a few of the images of a larger series that have come out of my exploration and self discovery in seeing potential and opportunity in what and who I encounter around me. It has developed a form of communication with people at a whole new and exciting level. I have made some interesting new friends along the way, found great opportunity and feel more energized than ever. I hope to keep this new dialogue going. The reward of self discovery and new found energy is a great opportunity to build on or fine tune what you know and with it, draw a new understanding and passion for what you do.
Thanks again Joao!