Self-Assignment…A Creative Kick In The Butt!
July 25, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’m writing this during the heat wave that most of the country is experiencing. If you aren’t working on a job, you know how tough it is to get out and do something to further your career. Today, it might be the heat, but there’s those other days when we in the creative fields get one of those “mental funk” days. You ever get one of those scary thoughts that you might wake up the next day and be in a creative coma? No?…uh oh…well I don’t either, I’m just sayin’, but just in case, what I do periodically, is give myself a “self-assignment”. Sometimes I leave the house with just one lens which forces me to move around more, check my composition more precisely. O.K. it is a zoom lens which helps some, but I used to do this in the old days when all I had were fixed focal length lenses. Shooting exclusively with a macro lens is a real eye-opener, guaranteed to produce amazing images from ordinary everyday objects. O.K. you’ve read this far and you’re asking yourself…”What the hell’s with the cat shot?” Glad you asked. We rescue cats. I tell everyone that I’m a professional photographer…but really, that’s what I do on the side. My real job is cleaning litterboxes! Sorry, I’m starting a rant here…back to talking about self assignments. We have a lot of cats. Right now we even have two strays living in the loft of our barn. We used to have a tough tomcat stray in the barn, but after he got into a really bad fight with a raccoon, we rescued him, and now Gray Stray’s a pet . So anyhow, one of my self-assignments is going out and shooting cat portraits. This is tough, cats don’t follow directions, they don’t sit there nicely and pose for you. You have to be quick to capture that moment. You focus your camera and they immediately look the other way. One trick is to hit them with a big rock…JUST KIDDING…wanted to see if you’re still paying attention. No, you stand there and make stupid noises like sucking air through your teeth…be ready because they will immediately look at you when they hear that noise. Of course they’re probably thinking “there’s that idiot over there sucking air through his teeth making those stupid noises…maybe if I look at him, he’ll snap the picture and go away!” So as you look through these images, just be grateful that I didn’t add a soundtrack!
So give yourself a “self-assignment”…could lead to something too, like a cat calendar!