Friday, August 22, 2008

Creativity Friday - I'm Heading To The Mountaintop

A couple of things happened recently that leads to today's post. A few weeks ago, I was reading Cory Barker's guest post over at Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider blog [link]. Now let me say, that I think Cory in on another level of creativity with what he dreams up with those fantastic tutorials over at Planet Photoshop.

That said, I read his post with interest as he discussed his creative process. Cory's process involves a creative exercise he likes to call creativity farming. He'll spend an afternoon at the bookstore, pouring through most of the magazines on the news stands and just feeding that visual data into his brain. That visual data becomes the touch points of his new creative ideas. I found it a fascinating peek into the "brain juices" of a very creative individual.

Along those same lines, I reflected on my own creative process. I've always said that I love going out on a Saturday to shoot a wedding. I don't have the constraints of day to day studio activities on my mind. I feel I'm standing on a tall mountain ready to jump into the air and fly.

I'm sure, at times, many of us have had that wonderful feeling of peace and quietness. That's where I try to get myself before a major shoot. I feel being in that relaxed state puts my mind in a place that's welcomes the creative possibilities of the day. And fortunately, when those creative neurons fire, I'm generally rewarded with some really cool images.

Let's not make this sound too Zen here, but the main point is this; It has been proven that a calm mind is fertile ground for the birth and growth of creative ideas. I have found this over and over in my own life experiences to be very true.
My wife LaDawn will attest to the fact that before any major shoot, lecture, or presentation, that I will take about an hour just to get quiet and centered - I call it Allmmmming - you now, like the Tibetan monks. No I'm not a monk, but the quite time is integral to my preparation to my wedding shoots.

Even when doing my Master class or a workshop with a large group of people, I try to break away for a few minutes of quiet time. My purpose is to allow for that creative process to begin and hopefully pull off some exciting, intriguing and very cool images.

Give it a try yourself and see if it doesn't enhance your own creative process. It doesn't take much practice, but is does demand a slowing of a rapidly whirring brain and getting it in "coast" mode so you can let the creative process have a place to be nurtured. End of Mountaintop Mantra #1

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