Portrait of the Aussie bush

I’ve just been on a little trip to Melbourne to pick up a wide angle zoom. Previously, the widest lens I had was the 28mm on a 28-75 zoom. And as I’m sure as a photographer yourself, you can relate – after hours spent researching and debating the options, I decided on the Canon 16-35 f4.0 IS. It reviewed well for sharpness and the IS is a great feature when you shoot video as well as stills.

Get your arse off the couch and put your phone down

Standing in the one spot, doing the same things you’ve always done, will continue the sameness of your life. One thing we’re not taught as kids, or even adults, is that we need to keep learning and improving, and working towards you thing (goal, dream or achievement).

I’m not sure whether it’s the influence of our society, the media, our friends or something else, but collectively we have a view that someone will come and save us. That they will bring us the things we desire whether that’s wealth, fame or happiness. Somehow we’ve forgotten that we need to define what it is that we want or where it is we want to go; and, then that we need to work our butts off to get there.

Do your thing, your way

I love a good quote that makes me think about who I am, and reminds me that my life isn’t about anyone else. It’s just about me, and the work I want to do. In his books, Ryan Holiday has many gems that can sweet away the bullshit that shows up in your brain at different times.

“People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.” Ryan Holiday

Not where I wanted to be, but I’m working on it

It’s been a long year. From December holidays I had a plan that this was the year to improve my photography and start my business. I was going to shoot every day, and process every day. That hasn’t happened. Life, you know? It just gets in the way sometimes doesn’t it? Working, partnering, parenting and just general day to day living can really take you away from your dreams.

But you just need to remember that getting to where you want to go takes work. There’s a few quotes that keep popping up that embody the best way to approach reaching your goals …

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.” Liz Gilbert. Liz Gilbert is one of my favourite creative inspirations. I’ve never read Eat, Pray, Love but I have read Big Magic and heard her speak on a number of podcasts.

Ultimately creativity and making great things comes down to two things: having an open heart and grabbing on and curiously exploring the small threads that interest you; and working your arse off. 

Good books for new ideas

My daily journalling and meditation practice has been kicking on for over two months now. After finishing the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (effectiveness and efficiency – are you working on what you should be working on?) I’ve made some changes in my life. I’m now reading more non fiction than I ever have before. And much to my surprise, I’m really enjoying what I’ve been reading. 

Tackling one demon at a time

This time last year, Groovin the Moo morning, I was excited and petrified at once. I was embarking on an adventure I’d never experienced before. About to shoot a music festival with no experience and a small child I was reluctant to leave all day.

The sun was shining with a pleasant forecast for the rest of the day so I didn’t have todays worry of protecting my gear from the rain. I prepped my gear, charged batteries, formatted cards, cleaned lenses and packed my bag.

Afraid of something? Write it down

I find it to be a meditative process to write every morning. One of the exercises I do when I’m feeling confused or upset  is to write through it. And much of the time the fear is imagined … as Seneca said

“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.”

Writing through the process grounds you in reality. It forces you to actively think through and intentionally rationalise the outcomes that are worrying you. 

Be kind to yourself

Some days you just feel crap. On these days you need to be kind to yourself. The world won’t stop turning, shit won’t fall apart, you know that you’ll be productive the next day. It just means you’re rested and relaxed and ready to get back into it tomorrow and you’re not dragging you’re feelings between days. Make it your intention for the day.

Your affirmation for today, “I am kind to myself”. Use it to frame your thoughts all day.

When the voice starts to make noise … “You should be doing this or that”, “you must keep busy”, “there is all that house work to do”, don’t listen to it. Remind yourself of your affirmation.

This is what I need so I am kind to myself.

What’s on my photography business start up list?

It’s a daunting task setting up a new business. I’ve got an accounting and business background so I’m particularly meticulous about the planning stages. Dotting my t’s and crossing me i’s and the like. I have a manila folder that all my scribbled notes go in, a google drive folder that all my brainstorming and planning documents go in and a Trello board of all the things I need to do.

Here’s my to do list – it doesn’t include any photographic practice, this is just the business side of things.