There is something that right now, I am feeling so deeply and passionately about. It feel it in my heart, bones and soul, and know that this is part of my true authentic self. I want to share my story of where I have been going in my artistic and creative journey and how I am finally beginning to feel excited and positive about it, after a period of being down.
Growing up, I wasn't very excited or engaged with school. It wasn't a place where I felt that I could explore or express myself, except for when it came to art. Those classes were what kept me going to school. They were the classes, where not only did I excel, but where I could truly communicate my thoughts and feelings.
Through pencils, paint brushes, charcoal, scissors, paper (you name it!) I could actually have my voice heard and it was such a relief for someone who felt like such a failure at the traditional subjects in school to have those tools at her hands.
Fast forward through the years. I went to NSCAD and Concordia for Fine Arts, and had the absolute privilege of making, studying, breathing and living art for nearly 4 years. It was beautiful.
I then went on to what I thought would be a good next step for me, teacher's college, where I would become a highschool Visual Arts teacher, and hopefully provide other kids who were in the position that I was once in.
But sometimes the creator or the universe (or what ever you choose to call it), has other plans for you. Not thrilled with the course that my teaching career was taking, we decided that as a family, we would follow Winslow's career for a while and see where it would take us.
Am I ever happy that we made that decision. Moving up North was probably the very best decision that we ever made as a family, and if you've followed my blog for the last 5 years, you will know the spell that the Yukon had and still has over me. It is a magical place.
During our time in the North, I was incredibly blessed to begin on my path of photography, and started up my business Birds on a Wire Photography. It was amazing to me, that I could call what I was doing work, it hardly ever felt like work! It was me just doing what I loved to do (and getting paid to do it). It was amazing.
Then came along Beaver Creek, with it's lovely 5 hrs distance from all of my clientele that I had worked so hard to build. It was a difficult time for me professionally, and now, I am beginning to see, artistically as well. I was so far removed from the people I worked with, and so far from being in touch of what was happening in the world of portraiture photography.
On top of feeling left behind in the business aspect of things, I also began to feel uninspired in my everyday creativity. Maybe it was my surroundings, or personal circumstances, but I slowly lost touch with the joy of photography, perhaps the worst thing of all.
I began to doubt myself, my abilities, and my own voice. It was a sad time for me in my photography journey and I was feeling really weighed down about it.
Things started to turn around last winter, when my dear friend Sarah proposed a joint project, where she would be writing a story for Explorer magazine and I would take the accompanying photos for the article. It was something completely outside or my normal genre, and I was scared, excited, thrilled and nervous to take on the project. We went on our journey (in the frigid Yukon winter) and made it out alive (with a story and the photos for it). It was an accomplishment and a time to be with one of my very best friends in the world. I felt a spark, and it felt good.
That story/assignment, I think was a turning point for me. Was it Sarah, was she my guardian creative angel who brought me out of my funk? Was it the challenge? The feelings of fear and excitement all wrapped up in one gift? I think it was all of that. It was the challenge that I needed. I needed that opportunity to show myself that there is so much more out there. I needed to open my eyes, much wider than they had been.
Soon after that, or maybe just before(?), the opportunity of Land and See presented itself to me and I signed up for it as fast as I could. If there ever were a doubt in my mind, this was not one of them. I knew, right down to my bones, that I needed these workshops, for more reasons than just the obvious ones.
Something at Land and See, woke me up. There were moments of happiness, gratitude, openness and vulnerability. Being around like minded people was inspiring. It was such an inclusive and supportive place, and I drank up every second of it that I could. I was thirsty let me tell you.
And so here I am now. A renewed sense of wonder and willingness to be open. I am falling in love once again with my craft, and it feels so amazing.
One thing that I noticed I had stopped doing so much were portraits of my own children, of my husband even. I want to take photos of them and of the most simple, beautiful, meaningful moments I can. I also want to take photographs, just simply for the love of it. For the pure joy that it brings me. More happiness and joy, I say!
I'm not sure what direction I am going to take my business at the moment. I know that I love portraiture, and I will continue to shoot families primarily. But something that I have been very drawn to, is incorporating strong and evoking landscapes into my portraits. Being outdoors is so important to me, and I find when I get children outside, their guards and barriers come down, allowing for a more natural image. This is something I want to focus more on, that and telling the story of relationships and love.
Lots to ponder. Thanks for being my sounding board as always.