I have a horrible habit of wasting so much of my present moment time constantly thinking about everything and everyone! If you are like me, it can be so difficult to focus on what I’m doing right now at this exact moment (just caught myself thinking about something I need to do as I write this article). I’m constantly distracted by thoughts and most of the time these distractions running through my head are about what has already happened or what may happen in the future.
So, what does this have to do with photography?
Clear those distracting thoughts
Try to lose yourself in the present moment by focusing and concentrating on what you are doing at that moment as you engage your subject. Being completely present will allow you to be fully engaged and to see your subject with a new and exciting perspective. How do you do this? It takes constant practice, but it can be done! You must first be aware of all those distractions in your head. Importantly, try not to stop those thoughts from flowing, just be aware of them and notice them and as you watch them, they will simply fade. With practice, it does work! The key is to be aware that you are distracted and that you are not focused.
Don’t over think or try not to think at all
I admit this was difficult for me to understand at first. We have a greater intelligence than all those thoughts racing through our head. For example, have you ever encountered a situation where you just reacted in the moment, you knew what to do without obsessively thinking about your next move? Well, imagine yourself in front of a subject (I know this requires thinking : ), your head is clear, no distracting thoughts, you are fully engaged and you know it’s the right opportunity to capture or you instinctively adapt to what you know will be a better opportunity. We are more than our thoughts and those distracting ones get in our way and fog our ability to see clearly.
It’s not necessarily about the product
I think it’s important to clarify my philosophy on photography. For me, it is a life experience and it’s not necessarily about the final outcome although I certainly enjoy sharing and viewing the work of so many wonderful artists. Our goal as artists should be to get lost in the process of creating, not worrying about making money or whether our art will fit a certain mold or get a certain number of comments. These thoughts are distractions and keep us from our full potential. I have not mastered what is written in this article, but I practice as much as possible and I do think it has made a difference in my personal style and I hope you will find this article of value.