Meet Ben. Ben is a senior at the Denver School of Science & Technology who has his sights set on studying business at Wesleyan University in Connecticut next year. I first met Ben a year ago when I photographed his family for a holiday session last November. I love seeing my clients year-to-year and watching how much changes. I’ve watched babies grow into children, children into adolescents, and adolescents into young adults. It never ceases to amaze me how much can change in so little time.
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” – Karl Lagerfield
“There is a particular kind of afternoon sun that exists only in autumn. A golden light drapes itself over the world of that hour. It falls through the afternoon sky, fine and faint as a swirl of smoke caught in the wind, nearly transparent. So sweet, that light, insisting softly, goldly against the windows.”
“Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder”
Ever have that dream where it’s the day of final exams and you realize you forgot you were taking the course and therefore never showed up to class, never did any of the reading, and are completely unprepared for the test? Yeah, me too.
Like, ALL THE TIME.
While there are many theories as to why this particular nightmare is so common, my own self-diagnosis leads me to believe it is because I simply hate to be unprepared. For me, the ultimate red-faced, anxiety-ridden, sweat-producing scenario is when someone asks me a question about an area in which I’m supposedly an ‘expert’ and my only response looks something like this…
(photo courtesy of imgur.com)
Ugh….AWKWARD! Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. So what do I do when I find myself in one of these situations? Continue reading →