Do you create without a need for recognition? Or does a little support go a long way? Do you hide your work away, self-conscious of it, or do you show it off for all to see?
As you read this I’ll be at a Wedding as a weird cross between Photographer and Guest. The Wedding is that of Kirsty’s sister, Katie, and her fiance, Stephen. As everyone I know is actually part of the Wedding itself, I’ve opted to spend the morning working it (as a Photographer) rather than sit in the crowd amidst people I don’t know. Greg will be with me, so we’ll be fully representing Level Up Photography, but I’ll be slowly turning into a guest as the evening (and the alcohol) gets going.
Therefore, it seems poignant to me to address one of my favourite topics, that of passion. If you’re new here, I’ve written about passion a few times, and this very blog started as an attempt to fuel my own passions. With the Wedding day currently taking place (at time of posting, not at time of writing – I do want to make this clear) it is obviously a prominent theme, passion is obviously very important to today’s event. So, I’m going to talk about my passions, because we’re not all bored with that subject on this blog are we?
A few weeks ago I had a few moments of clarity. I shared a post I’d written and it received more hits and shares than ever before, partly because it was posted directly to my own personal Facebook, partly because the topic was sensitive in nature. That same week, I also received compliments for my photography, both from an actual paying client, and also from a few friends who were really pleased with some of my work. To have a week where I received such recognition for both my creative pursuits was… a little overwhelming, but ultimately fantastic.
Days, weeks, months can go by and nobody notices what you’re doing and that can feel like what you’re doing isn’t quite right, that what you’re doing isn’t clicking. I think this is more so with creativity than anything else, especially if you’re a self conscious creative. There are people out there who are clearly brave enough to just create for creativity’s sake; they want for nothing but for the joy of creation, or they simply believe that what they’re producing is of a high tier. However, there are many of us who, despite creating simply to create, do so a little more tentatively and with the hope that what we’re doing is well received. I’m the latter.
As much as I blog simply to blog, as much as I take photographs to simply make a good image, I do so with the desire that someone will enjoy this work. I don’t do it to receive compliments, though of course they’re always welcome, but I do it with an intention that someone may get some enjoyment out of it. The thing is, when we’re self conscious about our work, we’re less likely to boast about it, and we’re far less likely to show it off. So, what did my recent week of praise teach me? It’s that to receive the encouragement we desire, we need to actually make our work known. By hiding our work away, we are nothing more than a self-fulling prophecy. How are we to receive encouragement for things nobody realises we do?
Ofcourse, it’s a double edged sword. By putting our work out there we open ourselves up to criticism, we have to leave our comfort zones. But it finally helps us answer our enternal questions, are our passions good enough? I find out if my writing is good enough by posting blogs, I find out if my photography is good enough by sharing my photographs, and more-so by making a career out of it. I open myself to criticism, but I vow to take it on board and adapt with it in mind. This ensures we continue to get better, this ensures we break a never ending cycle, for one that is more favourable and positive. Rather than worrying about our work, rather than hiding it out of worry, and rather that worrying more because nobody is passing comment on it, we change. We become someone who puts their work out there, who receives feedback for their work, who improves their work, and who puts their work out there once again.
Being at a Wedding is about passion, but it’s also about celebration. We all have our passions, some of us will be better at them than others, but that’s never a reason to stop. We should be celebrating our work, we should be proud enough to show it off, regardless of our skill level. A Wedding is a celebration of your love, it’s you saying to the world that “this is us“, so shouldn’t we show off our work? Shouldn’t we say “this is me – this is what I create“? After all, there’s one thing Weddings are about more than both Passion and Celebration… Commitment. Lets be committed to our creativity, let’s celebrate it with passion!
What do you think? Do you share your work or are you more inclined to keep it hidden? If you’re the latter, a bit like me, why not take it upon yourself to share something this week. If you do, let me know in the comments below!
You’d almost think I’ve timed it this way, though I haven’t, but my Facebook page just went live and this will be the first post to it! How’s that for Passion, Commitment, and Celebration? Click here or on the logo to take a peak!