How's it going this week? We're talking about clarity on the podcast. I'm going to speak a little bit more about clarity when it comes to our subjective creative self. And Thursday, I'm going to be covering a little bit more on the businessy side of clarity–your why, where you're going.
So why is clarity so important? I believe so strongly in it, and this is from my own experience, this is from stuff I've learned from other coaches that have been my own mentors.
When you find yourself procrastinating, dragging your feet about what you need to do on your to-do list, not even wanting to sit down and answer emails, not even wanting to drag your butt out the door to go do a photo shoot, all of that sort of heavy legged energy is due to a lack of clarity.
Clarity is so freeing. It's such an important part of life, not just running a small business, but it is kind of like the flood gates of flow, of feeling energetic about what you're creating about feeling motivated, inspired. That is what clarity gives you. The gift of clarity is working and creating from a space of never ending excitement. And of course we're not always in that state, but to strive to be clear as often as possible is something that has helped me so much in business, and helped me so much when it comes to making better use of my time. So that when I do sit down to work at my desk, or I go out to a photo shoot, I feel more in alignment and more excited about what.
So when it comes to creative clarity, when it comes to this more subjective approach to clarity, there are a couple of things. The first is something that Matt mentioned. You can hear his interview with me coming up soon. He is a portrait photographer based out of New York, who I've been following for quite a while. His work is absolutely beautiful. He learned from one of his mentors:
The idea is: stepping into a shoot already pre visualizing what you're after.
And this is speaking from a portrait photographer viewpoint, but I think it's really, really valuable advice, especially for folks that I've worked with that are starting out or folks that have been in it a long time, but still find that they kind of freeze up when they are showing up to a shoot.
Maybe you get a family that's not very emotive and you just don't know what to do next. And you kind of panic those kinds of situations where things just aren't flowing. Those are the situations where it's super helpful to find clarity ahead of. So what might that look like?
Maybe it's being very particular about the time of day in the place that you invite people to go to. So if you're not in a studio, but you're shooting at a nearby park, try and narrow down the window of time so that you kind of know what the light is going to be doing. Do some scouting ahead of time.
Look at some photos that you've taken in those places or photos that inspire you so that when you get in front of those folks and you're ready to do the shoot, you kind of already have an idea of stuff that you're going after. Obviously there's some major value in being spontaneous and catching things as they happen.
And a lot of us love to shoot that way too. If you want to avoid panic and freezing up and some of the things that come along with not being fully prepared, it's really, really helpful to pre-visualize at least a couple of things that you want to do ahead of time.
For more on that, listen to Matt car's upcoming interview. I think you'll really enjoy it.
The second thing that I wanted to draw attention to when it comes to clarity is this idea of alignment before action. Get centered with what feels good before you act.
So, one way that this shows up a lot for me personally, is if I'm going to sit down and write a social media post, because I feel like I have to get on social media, because if I don't, the algorithm will cancel me. When I sit down sometimes to write, if I'm doing it for the wrong reasons, I'm not in alignment–meaning if I'm just there showing up, because I feel like I'm supposed to show up–what I write and what I post isn't going to come through nearly as well.
It's also not going to be very easy to create. So, finding a place of clarity. “Why are you doing this? Why are you showing up? What do you really want people to feel and understand and know about you? Get reconnected with the reason that you're even on this platform in the first place. It goes a really long way to growing your audience, to feeling better about what you're creating, and just basically feeling clear.
That's just one example. I think looking at other people's work, listening to music, that feels good. One thing I see a lot with early photographers is this like preset paralysis where you're trying to like edit photos. And you're like, well, “will they like the bright ones or the moody ones. There's so many options out there. Which ones should I choose?” Again, alignment before action. What feels good to you? Like which preset did you see and go, “oh my God, that's so beautiful.”
It doesn't matter what other people think, what other people are doing. You really will go a long way and feeling motivated and inspired in your business if you align with your own truth, your own creativity, your own magic, and then take action and create.
And again, this is all related to clarity, you know, being clear about what it is that you feel really excited about in your business and finding pathways to open that up and to get there. So creative clarity can be a little bit trickier. Remember alignment before action, and ask yourself, “am I aligned in this action, or am I just doing it because X, Y, and Z.”
And how do you find alignment? Like I said, do things that inspire you, whether it's your favorite music, meditate journal about what you really love about what you do. Look for other photographers for inspiration, just get in a space where you feel excited and creative.
It's not always going to be there, but the quality of what you put out in the world will be exponentially better if you are aligned first and then act after that.