Stretch Yo' Self | Stepping out of your creativity box | Adventurous Senior and Wedding Photographer

This shoot (which was yesterday as I'm writing this) didn’t go as planned, and frankly, didn’t go as I hoped.  Six Dreamers and I hiked to the top of Yonah Mountain in North Georgia.  It's 4.5 miles round trip, and we were looking forward to a beautiful golden hour once we reached the summit.

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Instead, we reached the top right as it dropped 15 degrees and rain poured on our faces.  The black sky blocked the epic view, and the storm kept us from getting to the side of the mountain that made the hike worth it. Y'all,  It. poured.  From the moment I took my camera out to the moment we got back to the car an hour and a half later.

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I'm not going to lie, from a photographer's standpoint, I was SO bummed.  Now, from an adventurer's perspective, we had a heck of a good time, and made memories together that won't be forgotten any time soon.  BUT, I learned a valuable lesson (or at least received a much needed reminder), so I want to focus on that.  

My style is obviously full of light.  If it's overcast or raining, I reschedule 100% of the time.   I love the sun, and it's necessary to create images our brand and I have become known for.  In all honesty, I think I've become too comfortable in my "art".  I've used it as an excuse to not push myself or really shoot any differently.  I think part has been lack of confidence, but part has been comfortability in my style.  My creativity has suffered because of it.  You know how your body stops responding if you do the same workouts over and over?  Our brains are the same way.  

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So yesterday, I took a few minutes to mourn the sunless sky, reset my expectations, and shoot in ways I wouldn’t typically shoot.  I accepted the fact I wasn't going to create the way I initially wanted, but it didn't mean I couldn't create.  I experimented with the moody light (um, the sky was black) and composition, and focused on the epic faces instead of the epic view.   Side note, you know what's crazy? I didn't change my editing style.  I started with the same initial presets (that always get tweaked all to hell anyway), and went through my same tweaks and adjustments (the black and whites had me feelin' all sorts of good).   It reminded me that my creativity isn't limited to certain environments.  My job as a photographer is to create, so, CREATE.  That doesn't take the sun or a certain time of day or a preset.  It's within me.  It's within you.   

I ended up loving the results, sure, they're different, but I love them.  If you're a creative, stretch yourself.  Put yourself in environments that make your brain work.  Don't get too comfortable in your niche; you might find new passions, new abilities, and new confidence are simply waiting to be set free.

(HUGE props to the girls who made this such a good time and had stellar attitudes even though they wiped out and looked like little soaked puppies by the end. HAHA.)

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