Tuesday, July 10, 2012
This Summer take your Camera on an Artist Date
The Exploration on page 44 of The Creative Photographer suggests that you take your camera on an Artist Date. I first learned of this idea from the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Julia suggests that one should always go on an artist's date alone. I like to think of my camera as an extension of myself and an artist's date as a kind of play date with myself and my camera.
The photographer version of the Artist Date is an outing where you go not to take "good" photographs, but to just experience being in an interesting place where you can observe everything around you and become more aware and sensitive to your surroundings. Yes, you might go home with many new images, and perhaps these new images will serve as inspiration for you in some way, but the main objective of the outing is to experience time with yourself and become present to the moment and everything around you. By giving yourself permission to take these outings you will expand your creative horizons and you will begin to think of yourself as an artist. In addition you will come to understand that time alone with no expectations of yourself to achieve anything profound, is an extremely important part of the creative process.
You can also expand this idea into something a little different by asking a group of friends to bring their cameras and come along with you. Pack a picnic lunch and head off on a road trip, stopping whenever you see something you would like to photograph. It is my experience that when you are seeing the world through the lens of your camera you are in a world of your own and very often forget you are with other people. You can also plan a trip to a specific location and draw up a list of things you will all photograph. Each of you can then take time on your own exploring this location with your camera, re-grouping after a couple of hours to share photographs over a cup of tea or coffee. If you photographed from a list you will notice how everyone experienced seeing things in such different ways.