Drained

I think every artist at some point in their career feels emotionally and creatively spent. We pour so much passion, time, energy, and good ole fashioned sweat into our work that if we are not careful, we risk serious burn-out. Which is really not good, because we still have weddings and babies and families and LIFE to shoot, whether we are feeling jazzed about it or not.

I am, of course, not immune to creative-drain disease. For me, it is a mental battle that sounds a little like this: oh my gosh, those photographers’ work is so good, I will never be able to shoot like that. Maybe I should start shooting like them. After all, what they do is obviously so good. But wait, this isn’t really what inspires me as a person, photographer, artist. I need to shoot things that inspire me. What inspires me? I don’t know. Life got in the way and I can’t remember anymore.

When I get to that “I can’t remember” phase, I know it’s time to step back and start refilling the creativity tank in my life. Lately, I have been feeling the blahs start to surface, so I knew it was time to nip it in the bud! I decided that this week is refillin’ time, starting today at a workshop I attended with international and all-around rockstar wedding photographer Jasmine Star. I will continue my journey this weekend in Chicago, where I plan to spend hours doing nothing but gaping in admiration at those who have gone before me at the Contemporary Museum of Photography. And then, just because I am in Chicago and am a sucker for musicals, I will be catching a show. I will do all my traveling by train, completely at the mercy of Amtrak (eek!) simply because I need that time to read, journal, decompress and think back to that feeling of having my first camera in hand, ready to tackle the world. This journey will be all about soaking things into my brain and my heart, rather than putting anything out there.

Just to show you how serious I am about not focusing on output, I will be leaving my camera at home, which for a photographer, is a little like a drug addict in withdrawal. I will also not be doing any editing for a few days. I know this means that for some of my clients, they may have to wait an extra day or two than my normal turn-around time to see their photos on my blog. To you patient souls, I say Trust me. When I come back all refreshed from my refillin’ break, I will be better than ready to go and the creativity you get back will (I believe!) be worth the wait.

I suppose I am (finally) all rambled out. I know I have not written this much “personal” stuff in the whole history of my blog. But I was truly inspired by Jasmine today and how she is so brave and puts so much of herself out there for all to see. I guess that means you can expect a few more blog posts such as this one in the future. If you are NOT a reader, feel free to just skip to the photos. I will not be offended…. much. But what I hope to accomplish is that, maybe for only a few brief moments, you get a peek behind the camera into the real me.

Thanks for listening.
Erica

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