Thanks for all the positive feedback from folks on my Memorial Day weekend shoot at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Really appreciated the shares and the kind words. My phone was blowing up for a few days across social media, email AND text because of these pics. Glad it inspired folks. It was a bit of a mind blowing experience for me, to know these photos resonated with so many people. Thank you.
Saying this next part because someone out there might be helped by it.
Here’s the thing to know; I almost didn’t go that night. It had been a difficult day, I wasn’t feeling physically well due to life stressors, and the near non stop rain we’ve been having wasn’t helping things. Plus the van had been in a hit and run earlier that week.
Most of that day was spent in phone calls with the insurance company, getting a rental car set up, and dealing with getting a body shop estimate. Plus dealing with office stuff; rescheduling missed lessons due to the hit and run, getting Etsy orders caught up, etc. Researching security cameras for the van. I took the van in for an overdue oil change. The oil change place even botched the oil change on my car (they even admitted as such) leading to delays in my day that…well, just weren’t necessary. They made it right, but it was still just an unreal hassle on many levels. Plus, I mowed the lawn and pulled something in my left knee. #ouch #icepack
I give you these details so you understand that when I say I felt like crap, this wasn’t, well, minor.
I put the Canon in the car and said; just mail the orders off for the Etsy shop. (Which takes me right past the cemetery.). Same trick I use for working out. “Just. Ten. Minutes.” I drove past on my way to the post office. The display was beautiful. But packed with people. Not ideal, but understandable.
I mailed the packages. It was now later; less people. And darker skies. I drove by two more times scouting parking and parking density. I still felt like crap, but I eventually parked the car at a nearby church and hoofed it to the cemetery.
“Just. Ten. Minutes.”
I stood at the stone fence and shot from the bottom of the hill looking upwards, still feeling like crap.
“Just. Ten. More. Minutes.” Because I’m already here.
I hit the top of the hill, and the view….whoa. I realized feeling like crap could be relegated to the back burner for awhile. *Limp. Limp. Limp. Shoot pics. Limp. Limp. Limp. Shoot pics.*
90 minutes later, 249 photos taken…far less than what I usually take…I finally limped back down the hill. Stayed up until 1 in the morning editing these pics. Gave no further attention to the crappy day, other than an ice pack on my elevated left leg while I edited.
Persistence…and tricking yourself to BE persistent….is the key. (And no, don’t confuse persistence with passion, it isn’t the same….I get very, very quickly annoyed with people who romanticize the work because they aren’t in it far enough to understand. So they romanticize it from afar to *attempt* to rationalize what happens in the process. Literally, fuck that.)
Step one in creating good work….
….just like learning an instrument, creating a relationship, maintaining friendships, creating a career, art, keeping a spiritual practice…
…step one is you gotta persist. Even when you don’t feel like it. Feelings are not facts. They should be honored and listened to, but they are not facts. Persist. Show up regularly. Commit. Consistency.
Step two; invest yourself, and do the work. No excuses. Which means you have to sometimes trick yourself to be persistent just to get step one done.
These photos almost didn’t exist; the line between going and not going to the event was really close to a “stay home.” Especially once my knee said “nope” to mowing the lawn. (The lawn still got done, followed by cold drink and ice pack #1).
Step one is to show up, and be persistent. Step two is to invest yourself. Fake it for step one if you need to. The rest will take care of itself when you hit step two. Beautiful moments will show up when you do the same. #persistenceequalsplaytime #play
Thanks for all the kind words.
#dothework #canon #canon50D #persistencepreventsfailure #persistencemeansplay #persistencemeansprogress #showup