Get the balance right!

So 2012 went in a flash and we welcome in 2013, a new year, new goals, deciding where we want to focus, all that stuff we said last January! October was my last blog post and that's pretty poor, something I wanted to address last year that I just didn't for one reason or another was updating my blog more regularly! This year I'm not going to wait until I have something interesting to say, I may just post a recent shot or two without having much to say about it, at least it's a regular update to those who take the time to follow my ramblings.

Anyway, January... traditionally a quiet month in general, time to reflect a little, plan ahead etc. Last year I took the time to just recharge my batteries, no tests, the odd job but mostly a dead month, this year started early with a shoot straight after New Year, lots of enquiries to answer and bookings as far ahead as March, so a good start and hitting the ground running. The past week has been spent retouching the first shoot of the year but still with time on my hands to think a little... never a good thing this thinking lark! Anybody in a creative field will tell you we are a bunch who are continually striving to improve, to book jobs, to leave something meaningful behind, to reach that elusive goal, to be a creative can be all consuming like a gamer who can't stop until they finish the game... just one more level... if you are one of these people then STOP... are you at the point where your art is your life? Do you have a life outside of your art? In your pursuit of the goal, the career, have you forgotten to actually live and do those normal things in life? I tell you now, I have and it's a wake up call when you realise that fact, I've ploughed time and money into something I love, and still do love but somewhere along the way I forgot that I have a life, I have a family and a home, all of which have been neglected!

Chatting to my wife this week she reminded me of an idea I had for our computer room/study, the room with the same decor that's been there since our daughter was a child, she's now 24!! It's a little thing like that that makes you look around and think, that was 3 years ago I came up with that idea, what the hell have I been doing that stopped me taking a few days to actually do it? Testing, retouching, mood boarding, web editing, marketing, planning and striving to achieve that next goal, that's what I was doing! I still want to achieve that goal, shoot that idea but you know what? Sometimes it can wait. Decorate that room, go see that movie, take your partner out for that meal, go on that weekend away or holiday instead of buying that 'must have 'lens'! I'm all for chasing your dreams and striving to become a better photographer, artist or whatever but I/we need to find a balance whereby home and the people closest to you don't get forgotten, weigh things up... is that shoot really going to benefit my book? Do I need to give up my weekend for an unpaid test? If the answer is yes and the team is amazing then yeah sure I'm going to do it but if my gut says there is a weak link or I just don't feel it's for me then I'm going to spend time with my family, do that bit of DIY that's been waiting for me or just chill and spend some time living life! Paid work is one thing but when you have the choice, when it's for the love of your chosen art then you have to remember what you're giving up before deciding to do it.

So this year I may be still as focussed but I'm going to be more selective with my time, I'm going to do my best to do those jobs that I've been forgetting about around the house, turn the mac off and watch a movie on a Saturday night, I'm going to shoot more personal projects and I'm going to have a life!

As far as my photography goes for 2013, there was a quote on tumblr the other day by Kenny Sweeney, an LA photographer, it really made me think, he said...

"Stay true to what you love to shoot, dont let anybody change you. Do what you love, shoot what you love, and don’t go chasing money, let the money chase you."

I really thought long and hard when I read that and he's right, if I'm shooting for a client then it's them that call the shots, their vision but when it's a test, it's a personal project or whatever then I'm going to shoot what I want, how I want, I've spent far too much time shooting what I think may get me booked, it's time I shot more that's true to what I believe is good and what will be will be!

Happy New Year ;)

P.S. I started working on the study and wallpaper is already coming off the walls!