Saturday, February 6, 2010

Your Own Worst Enemy

Have you ever wondered how people get so good?
What is it about them that allows their imagery to reach out and nourish another human soul? Then, when we look at our own work, we say to ourselves: "That shot could be better; The lighting is all wrong; The subject is in the wrong place..." Its as if we
have our own little critic that speaks to us inside our heads. We begin tearing ourselves down, whispering to ourselves "Your not good enough..." ...sigh...

I think that good artists are those who know how to turn off the critic within; They know how to have fun being creative and experience the shear joy of it in a childlike way.

I remember the first shot I took that sent a chill down my spine. My wife and her sister were walking far ahead of me on a snowy path that curved out of the frame. I was just playing with the camera and I snapped the shutter. When I saw the image on the LCD, my heart skipped a beat. The image I'd just made touched my soul. That shot was THE one that showed me that, even I, could be creative.

After that,
I bought all the right gear, began listening to several podcasts, and began re-learning all the teachings of the masters that surround us. I got to the point where I thought I was good. But there are so many others who are so far beyond me that lately, I find myself not willing to pick up the camera as often; I listen to my inner-critic: "I am not good enough."

I heard
an excellent interview today where a photographer,
Ibarionex R. Perello, spoke with an accomplished musician, Stephan Oberhoff. Stephan had a way of articulating how we grapple with our own self-doubt, and how it stops us from moving forward. He also spoke about allowing yourself the time of day to work on your art. The parallels from photographer to musician are many. Perhaps our own self-doubt is a quality all too human and thus difficult to recognize and deal with.

I was inspired by the interview.
It was as if I got a chance to know that even the most accomplished still have within themselves, that little voice that whispers.

I know now
that I have to keep trying. I have to give myself the time of day to just play, and create, then, I have to separate the "creative process" from the "critical process". I need to stop listening to the whispers

We all do!

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