2016 has been a creative wasteland for me. 2015 was a fertile wonderland.
Those of you who have been with me for a while may say "but Sarah you have had three magazine articles published this year, you have blogged more regularly than ever, and your photography is rock solid". And you would be right, all those things have happened. But 2016 has also been filled with constant ground shifting change. The only thing that has carried me though this year is what was in the storehouse from last year's bounty.
In the last month two things have revived my barren creative soul. The first is Lenswork magazine and podcasts. The editor, Brooks Jensen, is a huge proponent of photography projects. Lenswork has a new photography book out - Seeing in Sixes, six image projects from Lenswork Readers. I promptly ordered the book and have been devouring the pages since it arrived two weeks ago. Seeing the vast variety of photography projects/stories told in just six images started tilling the soil in my creative mind and heart. I have considered some ideas for my own project: a 12 X 12 project, one theme each month for a year, but eventually discarded that one, too dull. A 52 week self-portraiture project, I am still on the fence about that one, if it happens it will start January 1st and I am considering reviving my old blog, Becoming A Finisher, if I decide to undertake that project. Then THE project came into being - 52 weeks of retail excursions.
I am not much of a shopper, but I do have to go to the grocery store every week. I probably would have been content to photograph all 52 weeks at the grocery store. But as I sat down at my desk to compile a list of 52 photo prompts to use for motivation and inspiration, other seeds were sown. I wrote the word metal and thought of the 1970's era hardware store in my town that I have always wanted to photograph. I wrote high heels and thought of my friend's clothing boutique, knowing that she would be only too eager to help with my project. With each prompt I wrote, the location ideas continued to blossom.
Week One is complete. I will admit I felt a little weird taking my big dSLR out at the grocery store, but since I have 52 weeks to get comfortable, I am sure I will get there. This shot turned out pretty much the way I envisioned it, always a good feeling for the start of a project. I am exploring Adobe Spark to use for this project.
The second thing that is providing nourishment for my creative soul is David duChemin's newest version of the book Within The Frame - The Journey of Photographic Vision. His words always fill me with hope and inspiration.
"As you experience life, your vision changes. The stories you want to tell, the things that resonate with you -- they change and so does your vision. Finding it and expressing your vision is a journey, not a destination."Words spoken directly to my heart. I feel the soil growing rich and fertile once again.
My friend Lee of Sea Blue Lens and I are sharing our favorite photo from the previous month in this new monthly practice Scene & Story.