Photojojo

This book is unlike every other photography book I’ve read, and that’s why I like it.  It doesn’t attempt to teach you how to be a great photographer, and it certainly doesn’t waste any space showcasing the authors’ work.  It addresses a very different -and very real- need for photographers: a place to turn when you are feeling less than creative.  The authors don’t want you to sit down and read a book, they want you to get out, take and make photos.  Their job is to give you ideas that can easily be put into action.  …action that will inevitably spark some inspiration.

The book is divided into two parts.  1.) Crafty things to do with your photos, and 2.) ideas of what and how to shoot next.  Personally I enjoyed the second part much more than the first, but in light of the economy and the fast approaching Christmas season I will certainly be implementing some of their crafty ideas for my gifts this year.

No matter where you are in your photographic pursuits there are plenty of things in this book you can benefit from.  If you’re feeling stifled creatively then it would be well worth your time/money to pick up this book. …but only if you’ll actually DO some of the things they suggest.  =)

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Anxious to please

One of my clients posted a review of my work on the Mud Productions Directory Listing on Pictage.  She said something that caught me by surprise, yet it seemed to really articulate the way I work. Among other things she said, “He was very easy to work with and anxious to please us.” (emphasis added)

To be honest I’m always a little bit (and sometimes a lot) nervous before, during, and after a shoot.  I take a lot of ownership in my work, and sometimes I get emotionally attached to it.  Until I hear directly from the client that they like the work I did for them there is always this voice in the back of my head saying, “You blew it! You could’ve done better.  They won’t be pleased with this…”  It doesn’t matter how good I feel about my work; that voice stays there unless I know for a fact that my client is pleased.

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with the negative side effects of this –putting my sense of self-worth in someone else’s hands, focusing on the negative, never being satisfied with my work, etc…  However, I think an appropriate amount of this “anxiousness” can still be a good thing for a photographer or anyone in a creative profession.

PhotoBook-2907

We tend to get anxious when we deal with the unknown. The voices in the back of our minds tell us to avoid it because of the dangers that lurk there.  Yet, this also the land of creativity, imagination, and inspiration.  Creativity and failure are cousins.  The surest way to avoid both is the stay in the land of the familiar.

To my fellow photographers: I encourage you to try something new that makes you anxiousRent some new equipment, let someone else take pictures of you, put your camera at risk, ask others to critique your work…

You might fall flat on your face and take the worst pictures of your life, or you just might find the inspiration you’ve been looking for.