This year marks two milestones for me. It’s my 25th anniversary of working as a professional photographer, and I turn fifty. How did that happen? People have always commented on how fast life passes by. The older you get, the more velocity it has.
When I look back at my career, creative path and growth, I feel like I’ve packed a lot of life experience into those years. It seems that I should have a square hand on the wheel by now, but challenges are still there just like when I was starting out. They’re just different now. I’ve come to realize that longevity and fulfillment truly is all about process. (And gratitude, but that’s for another post.)
It seems that I should have a square hand on the wheel by now, but challenges are still there just like when I was starting out.
You have to love the process of your work. Process is what takes up the days and years. Process is what you do every day, day in and day out. It’s what gets you through the droughts, frustrations, blank pages, lack of ideas and imagination. I’ve learned to trust in process. I’ve learned to pay attention to where and how ideas come forth, to write them down or see them slip away.
There’s always more to learn, more to see and do. There is failure and success along the way. Some projects never get traction. Others flow with more ease. The one thing that remains consistent is the work behind creativity.
I’ve come to realize that longevity and fulfillment truly is all about process.
Most of the time, I’m happy to do the work. The work is what gets me through any fear and inertia that might plague whatever confidence, enthusiasm or momentum I may have.
I like the big picture and the minutia. I like making messes, being vulnerable and wandering into serendipity. I love when creativity brings forth adventure and discovery. I love the relationships nurtured through art, music, film, play and collaboration.
Once in awhile, I have to step back, turn away, do something else. Get lost with my guitar. Write a song. Travel. Disappear with my husband. Make a movie. Cook dinner. Take the dog for a walk. Have coffee with friends. Binge watch a series.
Now I also realize that this too is connected. One informs the other.
Eventually, I always come home to my camera, to my work and to the process. I return to the thrill of making images, art and storytelling.