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Struggling to Find Your Keepers

For the last couple of weeks, I have struggled with my photography. The places I’ve visited have been disappointing. The scenery is not very picturesque. The lack of rain has made the wildflowers in Texas disappointing. The trees are still grayish, and the brown grass is taxing my patience.

Maybe you struggle with your creative effort too. Do you find yourself frustrated sometimes to the point of wondering why you try? You are not alone, I’m right there with you. Here’s a way to overcome the challenge.

Start with realizing that it’s okay. Not every outing is going to bring home a bunch of “keepers” if anything at all. This is true whether you are a seasoned pro or just a beginner. In fact, the longer you photograph the pickier you become on just what is a “keeper.” 

The next step is to accept that you must continue doing your work. Every creative knows that inspiration is more like perspiration. It is very hard to make a sunset photograph from a living room. Being there is a big part of the process.

Spend a moment thinking about why you make photographs. If you’re not a photographer, why do you make your art? This is more important than how you do it. It is the reason that drives your creativity. I’ve said that I make my photographs for myself. Yes, this is true, but it is only a starting point. There is so much more to it.

The big reason or the why for me is simple (once I discovered it.) I am a traveling photographer and explorer. But why? I didn’t travel to Texas to discover the dirt is red-brown, very dry, and lately unseasonably warm. I go to places many will never see. My photography and stories about my treks, I get to share with you. But it’s bigger than this.

I think about the people who will never do what I’m doing. Many living in concrete jungles of the city may never get to travel and see what I see. Maybe someday, somehow, they might see my photography. They may see it by you simply sharing one of my articles. Maybe one person might become inspired to become creative in some way. It might not be as a photographer, maybe as a writer or musician. Who knows? It’s about the hope and dream of being more than who you are today. So, let’s get back to you.

Find your truth, your reason, or why. If you are stuck, learn how others find their creativity. Finding your creativity is a continual learning process. Understand there will be more off days. I’ve certainly had my share. I’ve learned to know there will be good days that always follow those days of despair. Spend time with other photographers. Share your story and ask what they do.

I just finished my edit from visiting the Guadalupe River. I think one’s a “keeper.”  Take a moment and follow the link below to my recent photo treks and choose the Hill Country Collection.

PLEASE NOTE — The Hill Country Collection will not be available until Tuesday PM. I find myself in a poor internet area (I’m in a Canyon on the Rio Grande) and Adobe’s Creative Cloud wants an update that it is unable to download.

So don’t wait on me. I just came across a fabulous quote. “Life has no remote. You have to get up and change it yourself.” So, get up and get out there, it’s time you find your “keepers” too.​

P.S. Want more like this? I send these articles out to friends, photographers, and art lovers who want to improve their skills, and explore their creativity or simply enjoy my thoughts and stories and I would love to include you.

Tell me where to send it and I’ll send you a copy of Seven Moments an eBook, as well as articles, sneak peeks of my new work, and very occasional info about resources to help you with this creative craft we love.