A creative journey is sometimes best walked alone. During the beginning stages at least, the designer needs to work through the details of how to cast vision for the project as a whole. Goals are set and tactics for achieving said goals are developed. Ultimately, a deadline is stated, and things kickoff from there.
But after this initial cycle, the story needs to be pitched to teammates or peers, for feedback and advice can help better understand a potential stakeholder's appeal or concern. It also helps with furthering the argument and shaping next steps if partners and other materials are required. Without this, it's basically up a creek without a paddle creatively speaking.
Lately, I've found myself in a similar boat. Don't get me wrong, things are going really well, but I realized more ground work needed to be down for this project's longevity to be secured.
This became crystal clear over the weekend while adventuring throughout Rhode Island with six other New York-based photographers. We were gathered by our friend Brian who represents a mobile photography lens and lifestyle company based in Seattle. For the trip, we were tasked with testing product and showcasing East Coast beauty—easy enough.
But what I took away more than anything was "the pursuit." By this, I mean a hunger that rallies inside whenever one is placed in likeminded community.
Our whole weekend centered around food, conversation, photography, and videography, which are some of my most favorite things. Additionally, the passion of these fellow storytellers brought new inner resolve and motivation to "just keep swimming."
Timing: Don't rush the perfect shot. Make the extra effort to set up a shot and plan out where the best light is. Give direction, but allow your models to be themselves—make it natural. Sure, this takes a few extra minutes (or more than a few), but the end result will pay off so much more than could have been expected.
Collaboration: Allow others into your creative space. It can definitely be a vulnerable thing to do, but allow others to see you in your element. Even if they don't naturally fall into the same visual aesthetic as you, it's okay. We all should be willing to help and champion each other's efforts and not be so cut throat about it.
Gear: There are so many incredible gadgets on the market nowadays, but they aren't always necessary for a perfect shot. If you understand composition and light, that's half the battle. The main thing is that you feel comfortable working with the gear you have, and the shot will come. Comparing your setup to another's will only discourage you when you could be using that energy to create something beautiful.
Supporters: Active support will come and go, so the important thing that should remain is your love of the craft. Make art in a way that brings joy to you and positive impact to your community. If your friends don't appreciate that, then take them on your next shoot. Otherwise, let the haters hate—that's not your problem. It will only cloud your passion in a very negative way.