Every year for the last 5 or so years, I've had one word to guide me. In December I usually start to think about the word for the current year and really take a look at how it's guided my life.
In 2017, my word was brave. It wasn't an easy word for sure, and there were many times I honestly wished I hadn't chosen it. But it pushed me to grow in all aspects of my life, from calling people I didn't want to, skiing black diamond runs (I'm a fairly new skier), starting an Instagram community, volunteering help with and to give a talk at Insta-Inspire this coming April, and taking the steps on a huge project I haven't announced yet that is waaaay beyond my comfort zone. Whenever I faced something that seemed a little bit hard, instead of shooing it away like I would have done in the past, I put on my big girl panties and said yes to some hard things.
All during December, I was on the lookout for my new word for 2018. I dabbled with a few, but nothing ever felt right. On December 31st, I still hadn't come up with the right word. Now I don't tend to get religious very often on here, but since my faith is a big part of who I am, I'm sharing this. I decided to do some reading to see if I could find my word, and happened to be reading in the Old Testament, Proverbs 3:5-6 which says: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. It was in that instant *BAM* that I knew what my word for 2018 should be: trust.
Now, this may seem like a silly word, but when I choose my word, I think about all the things I know are going to be going on in the next year, and try to find a good word that will be helpful in moving forward. I'm not quite ready to announce it yet, but I'm going to be doing something big this year in my photography journey. So big in fact it scares the living shizzle out of me. And the kicker--this was not my idea, nor is it something that I really want to do.
Back in October this thought flitted around my brain and by November, I really started thinking seriously about it. Then I completely decided I didn't have time for this in my life, I wasn't sure if it would be successful or if I would try it and fail miserably, so I just said I wasn't going to pursue it. But the thought wouldn't leave my brain. It kept calling to me for over a month, keeping me awake at night and basically kept punching me in the face. So, I prayed about it for days on end, asking God if this was what He wanted me to do. After some alone time away in a place I love, I felt my heart beat fast, I felt someone had their arms around me and I KNEW I had to put my trust in Him and move forward with this. And though it still scares me silly, I am putting it all in His hands. It may fail miserably, but at least I know I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. So, I'm moving forward, trusting that I will do what I need to do. And whether I succeed with it, or fail....I'm trusting He will catch me.
This year is surely flying by...I honestly can't believe it's time for our last challenge to soon begin. It surely has been an exciting year and I've learned soooo much! I have had a lot of fun being more creative in my photography with you. Thank you so much for taking this journey with me!
Our December challenge is:
Creating a Series
As with most of the challenges this year, I am learning as I'm going. Though I have made a few series for Instagram, it's not something I've done much outside of that platform, and therefore want to pursue it more this upcoming month. I know December is busy, so I figured this would be an easy way to be creative amongst all the hustle and bustle!
A great series must have one strong point in common, while everything else is different. If you choose to have your subject should be the same thing every time, change up what's around it, the lighting, the angle, etc. Of course you can have a different subject, but if you do, you'll want to make sure the background is the same throughout the series. (Or make it all the same some other way.) You do need to have at least one constant, so your viewers KNOW that you are making a series and not just randomly shooting.
At first, you may feel a bit limited by only being able to work with something the same. But the great thing about shooting for series, is that it can give you limitations--because ironically limitations will give you some freedoms in your creativity. Sometimes thinking inside the box actually makes it easier in the fact that you don't have to think so hard. Keep it simple if you start to get overwhelmed, and you'll find your creativity a lot easier!
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that one of my favorite on-going series is silhouettes. Capturing my boys is tricky, but when there's a beautiful sky, they are more than willing to be in a silhouette picture for me because they don't "have" to smile! ;)
Some ways to do this challenge:
When approaching the thought of a series, think of something you love. If you have no idea what kind of series you can do, ask yourself these questions:
* Is there something I always pull out for holidays or the season? (Lights, decorations, foods and traditions all present some wonderful opportunities.)
* Do I have a child with a favorite article of clothing or a toy? Is there a habit that is often seen? (I've made a series of my boys sleeping in funny places, but now that they make faces at the camera, I'd like to try that as a series!)
* Do I have a fun prop I've been dying to use such as an umbrella, bubbles, balloons, crystal ball, or even something simple like a spoon or other everyday object?
* Is there a new technique I want to try? Some in-camera double exposures, free-lensing or a creative lenses all make great series!
Think back to all of the challenges we've done this year, and make a series involving one of those! (If you're new here, here's a link to what we've done to give you some ideas!)
A series can be something that happens naturally (like sleeping children), or it can be something you go out and make. Either way, take time to think through some details of how you can make more than one image for the series. Think about your point of view, lighting and what else is in the scene. If you're planning a deliberate series, you may want to be sure you have a consistent set up and lighting to make your series flow.
A series doesn't have to have a certain time frame--it can be years in the making, a few months, a few days, or even in an hour! Since this challenge is only a month long, you will need to think of something you can do in a month. You can do one for the whole month, or try a new series each week and make one image everyday with that series. You could challenge yourself to make a series in one day, then share it all week or in a grid. Maybe you'll want to do a seasonal series and add to it each December from now on. It's really up to you of how you want to make your series work for you!
How can you participate?
I hope you'll join in with our little Creative Inspiration Community on Instagram! We like to share tips with you about the challenge, as well as learn from those we feature! If you haven't joined in over there, please head on over!
If you will be sharing your series on Instagram this month, please use the tag: #2017creative_series.
Thank you to all of you who created with me this year! We will keep going with the IG hub, but the newsletters and the FB group updates will no longer be happening. I know, it's sad, and I wish I could keep doing it for some reasons, but as with all things in life, there is a time and a season for everything.
I do have some projects coming up that I've been working on. It may be a few months out before they are ready to reveal, but I promise that as soon as they're ready, I'll be announcing it here on my blog and through Instagram. One project in particular has to do with this creative challenge, so if you've enjoyed it, be on the lookout for it!
Thank you again, to all of you who have supported me in this project this year! I certainly learned a lot and had a blast upping my creativity with all of you!
"Spread love everywhere you go.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
― Mother Teresa
This has been one of my goals for as long as I can remember--to spread love to everyone around me. There's so much negative going on in the world, and so much focus on it that it drives me batty. I can't stand watching the news, and when someone complains too much on social media, I leave. Negativity and hate have never been my jam. Love does so much more, helps more people and can mend hearts and lives. How can you spread the love today?
Another month in my group quote/picture project! It's first of all fun to see what quote is chosen, and then how to see each of my friends interprets the same quote through their images! Click through the blog circle to see how they interpreted the same quote! Next up is Stephanie, click here to see her post!
I can't believe how fast this year has flown by, it's crazy to think it's already November and the year is quickly winding down. There are only 2 months left of creative challenges this year...how can that be? If you haven't had a chance to try out all of the previous challenges, [go here to see them](http://www.lavenderlime.net/creative-photography-challenge.html).
Our November challenge is:
Now, I'll be honest, I had another challenge I was planning for November, but when it came time to write about it...I just couldn't do it, it didn't feel right. So, I scoured the web for ideas on what to do for a challenge this month. I came across a personal bucket list challenge, and right away, I knew that's what I wanted to do this month. Hopefully you'll want to join in too, because I think this is going to be fun!
What's a photography bucket list?
Most of you know what a bucket list is, right? A list of things you want to do in your life before you kick the bucket. So, a photography bucket list is a list of things you want to capture in your camera lens before you kick the bucket. But we're going to take it a step farther and say let's make a list of things you want to capture in your camera before our year of creative photography is over! We'll really focus on this in November, but I'd encourage you do keep working on it until the year is over!
Making bucket list shots does require some work. And some of that work is right now. If you have a few minutes, get out a piece of paper, a notes app on your phone, a new word document on your computer...it really doesn't matter HOW you write these things down, just do it! The sooner you write them down, the sooner you can make them a reality! You can keep your list short with the goal of crossing off every single one before the month is over, or you can make a longer list, crossing off as many as you can, then rolling the list over next month or next year.
Let's get thinking about ideas:
Is there a technique you've seen others use, but just haven't taken the time to do it yourself? Maybe you'd like to try free-lensing, in-camera double-exposures, panning, macro, blurred on purpose, selective focus, low and artificial light, or landscapes. Perhaps you've thought about giving composites a try, shooting from the hip (another term for shooting blindly), long exposure or night photography, or giving light painting a whirl ! There are so many techniques that I bet you haven't done them all yet!
Have you always wanted to try out new equipment? Perhaps a specialty or manual lens, or even a telephoto or wide-angle lens you don't have. What about using a tripod, an intervalometer or an external flash? If you don't want to buy new equipment, you can always rent, or see if there's a photography friend close by who you can trade with. Getting a friend in on the fun gives you an added reason to try something new! Don't forget small items as well like a prism, a glass ball, a copper tube, or a sandwich baggie. If you've never tried something like this before, give it a go!
Yes, I'm sure we all have amazing bucket list locations from where we want to shoot. But given the time of this challenge, that probably won't happen. So, think of a place close to where you live that you've never been before, and go there! Think of normal places that you've never taken your camera to before--the alley downtown, the skate park, to your work, a professional sports game, on a walk, the gym, a playground (just make sure you have kids with you so you don't look like a creeper...), a movie theater or the store. There are so many places I've never taken my camera! Additionally, if you know a location well, think of a new way you can use it. Try the middle of the day for shadow play, after dark for some astro-photography, or even using new angles and perspectives while there.
Are there any moments you're just dying to capture? An elderly couple kissing, a girl twirling in her dress with her hair flying around, an ocean wave frozen in time, a boy in mid-air, children greeting their dad after work, a sunrise or sunset a certain place, a bird in flight or someone blowing out candles. There are millions of moments happening everyday--which ones have you not captured yet that you want to? While scrolling through pictures on the internet (IG and Pinterest are great places), look for ideas of moments that others have captured that you'd like to do as well...then write them down so you don't forget! Also, don't forget there are always tons of events and things you can go to and try to photograph! A balloon festival, fireworks, a ball game, a family game, a lantern festival or a celebration of some sort. There will be many opportunities for you to capture if you go out and look for them!
Most of us photography our immediate family members without reservation...but how often do you ask a stranger for her portrait? This is also a great time to really put some thought into making images with extended family, showing connections you may haven't captured before. And let's not forget us! If you haven't ever taken a self-portrait, now's a great time. You don't have to be alone though, invite a loved one to join in with you, and capture the connection you have with each other. And I know that animals aren't technically people, but if you've never taken pictures of a horse or a bug (or other animals), that may be a fun idea to try!
Additionally, maybe you have a project that you've been wanting to do for awhile, but just haven't. (For example, "A day in the life" has been on my list for awhile...) Maybe there's a class or workshop you've wanted to take for awhile but just haven't done it yet. Have you always wanted to do a planned theme shoot, or wanted to collaborate with a few friends? Now's the time to write it down and get it crossed off of your bucket list!
7. Other Ideas
Are there some physical items you've always wanted to capture in your lens? Perhaps a classic car, a collection of a loved one, your home or yard, a foggy morning or experiment with color theory . Maybe you've always wanted to try food, adventure or real estate photography. This is the perfect month to test the waters and give something new a try!
To participate this month with us on Instagram, please use the tag: #2017creative_bucketlist. My team and I will be featuring our favorite images on the Creative Inspiration Community hub with the above tag! Be sure to tell us what it is that you accomplished on your bucket list so that we can share the great news with features!
Thank you to all of you who have joined in with me on this challenge! I'm looking forward to seeing what you will cross off your photography bucket lists this month!
Have an amazing day, and happy creative shooting!
I'm a mom of 4 boys, in love with photography, especially landscapes, macro, and silhouettes.
"To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place...I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." -Elliott Erwitt