Holy cow, guys. May I interrupt this regularly scheduled program to let you know that I have been struck by a bolt of lightening?
Here I am in our brand new house, some chipper Mozart blaring from the speakers, a fan whirring in the background, and my elderly mutt snoozing in his bed. Just outside a crew of men beat nails into a house being built just across the street in our newly minted neighborhood. And I am sitting here breathing in the fresh mountain air just barely believing we are actually here. Pinch me.
Let me back up. Recently, as in several weeks ago, we moved to Colorado from Alabama.. this was a move that was completely unexpected.. wanted, but abrupt. We found out we were expecting (hello, unplanned little bundle of joy!) and we figured, well.. it’s now or never! Anyway I’ve talked a little about this in recent posts of my photography online — because — woah. It’s really funny sometimes how you have no idea how sort of dead and uninspired you’ve become, until you step off the plane into this bright new place, sunshine blasting your eyes back open, with this new air and new light and atmosphere, new people smiling at you, and you kind of take a second and think, yeah.. woah. This place is pretty great. I feel… alive again!
In any case, that’s what happened here. (Except that we drove. For 3 days straight. With a dog and two cats and a trunk full of plants and suitcases and camera gear and sandwiches and jeez louise we were like a traveling circus careening across the midwest at 85 mph in two cars).
But anyway! Here we are, and I am SHOOTING again! And it feels SO GOOD! And I am waking up and noticing the beautiful light! And I am running back inside to get my camera! I am INSPIRED!
The point of this blog is that I had no idea how dark and cluttered and, kind of.. dirty? Things had become. How disinterested I had become in my very own work. Yikes!
Alamaba was beautiful! It was a space I landed after an incredibly dark period of my life, which was my tail end of working for far too long in beautiful, but very rainy and very cold England. I was out in the world, away from my family and just feeling so cold and alone for my last half of my four years in England, and desperately needing sunlight and love. So of course, Alabama was beautiful! There was sunshine. There was warmth and the people were just so incredibly kind, and sweet, and simple. They just wanted to swap crazy stories and drink sweet tea, which brought my smile back ten fold. And which I desperately needed after cold, miserable, dreary England.
But.. like everything else, things always change. Alabama became uninspiring. There was no room for growth. It was a very small town with several “big fish” photographers in a very small pond, who had the market cornered. Here I waltzed in and a few feathers ruffled. I worked for free time and time again, hoping to drum something – anything – up. I wanted to assist for people, to see new things, just to shoot, dangit! And I was sort of silently locked out of the artistic community. Our loft was dark. Like REALLY dark. I had no idea how something so simple could have such a profound effect on my work. I was uninspired, a woman my husband worked with poked fun at my “little photography projects”, and worked incredibly hard to second shoot for people who either didn’t believe in me, flat out didn’t pay me, or didn’t want me as competition.
Woof. It was a tough spot in my life.
All of this is to say — sometimes it’s hard to see! But it’s so important to get out of your dark spaces. Both mentally and physically. (And spiritually, and emotionally, and everything else!). To be able to let the light in, let the creativity and inspiration in, you have to be in a space you think is beautiful and surround yourself with that nurturing love and protection. Both in the form of your work space and in the people close to you. If there are people that don’t believe in you — limit your time with them! If your work space is cluttered or there’s not enough light (a simple but apparently very important thing for me, not surprisingly I guess because, duh, I AM a photographer), CLEAN IT OUT. If you love plants, add them to your office space! You spend 8 hours a day here, you might as well make it totally YOU, totally clean, totally wonderful. I have a new clover plant that reminds me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. how lucky I am to be doing what I do, working for myself, and loving it. Here are the tiny, beautiful white flowers from it. It sits about 2 feet from me, always in view:
The effects are profound. We are in a brand new house, our dream space, which will become my new headquarters, which has TONS of beautiful golden, clean Colorado light flooding in from the mountains. And holy crap guys. It’s inspiring. I feel warm, I feel clean, I feel fresh. I’ve been photographing more than I can remember in YEARS, and I feel like I’m thawing from a long frozen period. It’s still winter here, but signs of spring are everywhere. If you’re feeling something similar, try cleaning out your work space. The act is simple but the effects may surprise you.