Monday, January 4, 2016

Off We Go

by Carol

Time to get to work!

 So it's a new year and general wisdom has it that it's time to reassess our direction. Frankly, I'm more of a "go-with-the-flow kinda girl" and that has served me well.   Jumping in has allowed me to avoid my usual over-cautiousness and to experience some wonderful people, places and things. If I think too much, I will think myself right out of those experiences. My job, and my life as a single mom, have involved lots of planning and lots of follow through. At this stage, I'm trying to follow my heart and my intuition a bit more - loosen the reins a bit. It's hard for me, but it's also exciting and often rewarding. But all the after-Christmas posts here and all over the net are making me feel a bit guilty. So I'm not much for the 5-year plan, but I guess I could attempt some review.

Thankfully, this is a store window - but I sometimes feel like this!

I am feeling that my photography is needing some general reorganization. I can see progress - but in disparate directions. I would like to focus a bit more, if you will excuse the pun. Last year's goal was to get more out there - in the shows, on the walls, on line. I also wanted to cull my entire Lightroom catalogue to get rid of the duds. And I wanted to keyword every single image from 2015 as I took them. I vowed to complete each on-line course I signed up for. 

Wellll......I did really well with the key words right through about October, but have some catch-up to do now (not too shabby!) I was in several shows, but let my website drift a bit, and posted a lot less to Flickr. (could do better.) I decided to start with 2014 and work backwards through my catalogue to cull, and only got half way through 2014! (Not so good.) I am sooo far behind in the classes I signed up for. (no comment)

But I am not beating myself up about these things. I find that everything in life teaches a lesson. I have decided for 2016 to continue the key-wording goal- that is really getting me somewhere. As for the other goals, they are really all a part of organization (or lack thereof). For 2016, I want to compartmentalize, and conquer! So I want to redesign my website to include only my very best - there's too much on it. I want to go back to posting the others - the storytellers, the travelogues, etc- on Flickr, IG and Facebook, where I get more interaction from my photographic community. It keeps me in touch. I plan to be much more selective about entering shows, choosing those I really relate to and being more precise about what I enter, and I may try some on-line entries. I want to get some of my work onto my walls, or at least in books so that I can enjoy my memories on a daily basis.

But I have realized that my true joy comes from the contemplative aspects of photography. I want to be out there, intentionally, for myself, rather than for the sake of progress. Photography has led me to some really wonderful experiences in the last 5 years, from France to Tucson to New England with terrific people who have become good friends. That's what it's all about for me. 

So instead of "onward and upward," I'm going to close with "onward and inward!" 

Happy New Year!


Dotti said...

Our approach to photography and life is so individual, each of us is so unique. And that's what makes all of this so much fun. As soon as Christmas dinner is cleared and games put away, my organization gene goes into overdrive. Once I get a couple of projects done, I calm down. But keywords - ugh! The bane of my existence. Like you, I've vowed to get it done and keep it done but I'm a long way from finished. Have figured out that I need to simplify it. But the true goodness is what you said - the friends we meet, the fun we share, the relationships we build. That's what it's all about.

terriporter said...

Oh, keywords! I will never catch up! It's the whole reason I wanted to learn Lightroom, so I could find things when I wanted to rather than spending so much time searching. Well, maybe I'll start with 2016 and see if I can do better than last year. The other thing I want to focus on this year is to be more active on Flickr. I have a lovely community on IG but I want to do the same on Flickr. There are so many great groups to be a part of and so much inspiration. I recognize your top photo and it reminds me of the great friendships we have built right here at FOL. And I agree with Dotti, that's what it's all about!

kelly said...

sounds like we're all singing a similar song...trying to find the balance between organization and inspiration. I started a new catalog this year and my hope is to try to stay current with my keywording, making it more of a habit in my workflow. but on the other hand, I want very much to get out of my head and out of my own way. continue to grow. so glad I have you on this journey. xoxoxo

CarolHart said...

Great post and I think it speaks to us all. Like Dotti, I tend to get into an organizational groove the minute the holidays are over. 2 days ago I cleaned out the refrigerator, top to bottom. It's clean and without so many containers of leftovers that had been multiplying like rabbits in there ever since Thanksgiving! I truly believe that simplicity and organization is more of a journey than a destination. There will always be times when we feel it has all gotten away from us so we circle back and begin again. Part of the creative cycle I think. Enjoy your journey!

leigh said...

Onward and inward…what a perfect approach!

Cathy H. said...

I'm more like you, go with the flow. Thoughts flit through my mind that maybe I should write down some goals, but that's truly not me. I just go with whatever inspires me each day and do pretty well with that. I love the idea of onward and inward!

Sarah Huizenga said...

You make me feel so much better about the things I did and didn't accomplish that I said I would in 2015. It is good to know that I am not alone.

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