Are you a list-maker? So am I! Wonderful things! I have lots of pretty little notebooks filled with lists. They keep my day ticking over in the right direction and then the best part? Oh, yes! – when you get to cross everything off the list, in the end and you can be proud of everything you’ve achieved. But do you also allow yourself to let go of your list? Do you sometimes draw off the page? What happens then?
Ok, I’ll admit it: I can be a total control freak. So when I plan a shoot it often involves brainstorming sessions, sketches of possible subjects, sketches of lighting options, composition, some finger-drawings on the shower door – until I have a clear understanding of what I’d like to achieve. Then I find the right props, do some tests and eventually I set up and start working. I have limited time. I aim, I shoot, but then once I have the controlled shots of my ideas under way – I like to just let go.
I run into overtime. Happy accidents send me off on new paths. Instinct, that is connected to years of mistakes and AHA-moments, directs me. I allow myself to get totally side-tracked and it’s amazing where one ends up.
The other night I had been working until late, on a long distance commission of a series of images which I wanted to be just perfect. Because it was a series, and I had very specific ideas, I had to consciously keep bringing myself back to focus, under control, to ensure that the images would connect with each other and end up how I had planned. Some things worked, some things wouldn’t – readjust. Try again. It was quite intense work and I did not have a chance to let go. I went to bed exhausted, but happy with my work.
The next morning, when I saw a little whisk, still lying on the table. I pushed aside my daily list and picked up my camera. I noticed the cool morning light getting caught on the criss-cross metallic lines. I sat on down on the couch and played. Totally relaxed. Dark lines against light (flutter flutter) Light against dark (flutter flutter) A little later, I had these photos. Just for me. Happy.
I think you know where I’m going with this. With lots of turmoil where I am, right now, I sometimes have to remind myself that you can only have so much control. It’s an art to learn how to trust and let go.
The mind likes to hold on, but the soul needs us to let go.
How about you? Where do you sit on that scale of clinging and letting go? Are you JUST a list-maker?