A few weeks ago I was hanging out with my dear friend and fellow photographer, Charity, and we were having a conversation about creativity and art for art's sake and how to keep our photography from becoming stale and a means to an end. We decided to have a mini book club and read some books by Austin Kleon: "Steal Like an Artist" and "Show Your Work". SO GOOD! I highly recommend them to any of you creatives. Austin has such a fresh perspective on creating and it spurred all kinds of ideas for us. So Charity and I have been meeting every week to talk and share and dream. It has been so good for my soul! We decided that what we really needed was some kind of personal project/collaboration that would allow us to create for the sake of creating and push us beyond what's comfortable.
The Story Inside is what we came up with. We decided that even though a picture speaks a thousand words it doesn't always tell the whole story. We both wanted to challenge ourselves to not only shoot outside of the box each month, but also to tell the story, which means we have to find the story each month. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little apprehensive. I've gotten really comfortable with just shooting for my clients. I have no idea what I'll come up with or what in the world I'll write about it. But I'm up for the challenge! Because I desperately don't want to lose sight of the art of photography. I don't ever want to lose my passion and borderline obsession with growing and getting better and becoming more brave in my work. So here's to trying new things and telling stories!
One of the main premises of "Steal Like an Artist" is that nothing is original. Everything has already been done. But there's nobody else quite like me so even if I copy what you've already done it will still end up unique. As simple as that may be, it sure takes the pressure off. Austin encourages artists to figure out who their "heroes" are, to study them, and then to copy copy copy. He says "Don't just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don't want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes." Genius! He's right! I want to train my eye to start seeing what some of the AMAZING photographers that inspire me everyday see. So Sean Flanigan and Andria Lindquist, don't be angry if I try to emulate you a bit… Austin Kleon told me to. ;)