Thursday, January 24, 2013

Finding My Eye: What Motivates Me

What is my motivation in photography?

I thought I had the answer to this question. It was going to be exploring. I love to go outside and explore with my camera.

But then I dug a little deeper for the real answer, and you know what it was? PURPOSE
I need to have a purpose to photograph. Yes I love exploring but if I don't have a destination in mind I will drive around aimlessly for an hour never taking one photograph and then go home frustrated.

When I really thought about this question, I realized that I don't have any problem taking photos for my other blog Becoming a Finisher and that one doesn't have anything to do with exploring, at least not nature exploring. But I do have a purpose when I shoot for it.

In all my photography the ultimate PURPOSE is to tell a story. Sometimes the story is there first and then I take the pictures to go with the story, and sometimes I take the pictures first and then the story comes from the pictures.

Now I know the reason why I have never been successful at a 365 project, even though I have tried numerous times. I can't take random pictures I need the PURPOSE and the story.

Two things that have given me a tremendous amount of PURPOSE are:
1. I made a list of 44 Things that I wanted to do in my 44th year and on that list was to visit all the County Parks in my area. It has been fun visiting these parks, many that I have never been to before, photographing things I see at them and telling a story about my visit.
2. Walk and Click Wednesdays. A friend of mine from a previous on-line class started this blog link up in September. The objective is to go out exploring with your camera each week, then on Wednesdays post your photographic discoveries. I have been to so many places that I have always wanted to go to, but just never did. I have also revisited some old favorites, all the while capturing the whole adventure with my camera.

I am so happy to have had this question and the diligence to keep searching for the answer. When the easy answer seemed just a bit too easy. When the answer was a different one than I expected.

**Photojournal entry #3 for Kat Sloma's class Find Your Eye.


  1. I got side-tracked here with you list - what a brilliant idea.... I have to do one for my 50th!!! It has become a regular now that at least once a week I go on a photowalk - I'm rediscovering places I haven't been to for years and places I've been meaning to visit but not got around to it. i usually have in my mind what I want to shoot beforehand.

  2. I love how you continued with this question, uncovering the real answer bit by bit as you worked through the layers. Thank you for not being satisfied with the "easy" answer and really getting to the heart of the matter. Doesn't it feel great to discover this about yourself? You will be a better photographer, for knowing this.

  3. What a great word Sarah...Purpose. Pictures are beautiful

  4. I just love that about Kat's methodology. If you really dig deep within yourself to answer the questions, you discover amazing insights that serve you so well. You're not the same afterward.

  5. Sarah, you are a kindred spirit! I kept saying as I read your words and studied your images, "Yes...Yes!" I am so excited to share this journey with you. I so want to do Kat's class, but one of my New Year's resolutions is to not overbook myself. Too much critical life stuff going on right now, but little visits with you and a few others are my sweet reward. Bless you!


  6. Sarah, as I was reading your post, I had an insight about my own photographic motivation. I'm pretty much the you, I love to go exploring with my camera, but I seldom have a purpose when I take my camera out. For me the motivation is DISCOVERY. The reward for me is in finding something unexpected and unanticipated.
    But...I also love the idea of your list! And I think I'm going to give Walk and Click Wednesdays a try, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Sarah what a great discovery , thats why I love Kat's classes it really helps to 'see' your way... I must admit I've already fallen by the wayside with 365 already but I'm keeping up with 52 in 2013....

  8. Isn't it exciting to dig deep within ourselves and uncover a little more about ourselves? I enjoyed reading about your thoughts on photography. I love both of your images, they have a calm, peaceful feeling tothem!

  9. Of all the journeys we take in a life time, the journey of self is always the most exciting and enlightening. BTW - Is that lighthouse Big Red?

  10. I love your thoughts on this...and it makes perfect sense that you need purpose with your camera. It's interesting how each person's photography experience is different based on who that person is. For me, I don't need a purpose - photography is like a treasure hunt and I go out each time "looking for treasure". The frustration for me comes if I don't find any treasure! lol...thanks for sharing your beautiful photos and your thoughts, Sarah. :)

  11. I have really enjoyed following along with you as you've dug deeper and deeper.

  12. What a wonderful way to explore and tell a story with your photography Sarah. It's really great that you are willing to explore yourself and share it with us lucky followers.


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)