A break that wasn't a break, but at least nothing's broken.

Well it's been a fun couple of weeks for me. Well, maybe a different “F” word would be more accurate, but hey. We got here. What's done is done. No need to worry, there will be no shortage of future problems for me to solve at a later date.

With all that's been going on I have found it really difficult to switch my brain into “artistic output” mode, because all of my creative energy has been used up along with any reserves I may have thought I had, in creating non-linear solutions to problems caused by the most common of sources – human error and apathy.

I love my job – I really do, as it draws from that very part of me that drives my photographic endeavors as well. But sometimes enough is enough, and I just need a break. This is one of those times. Scheduling is the hardest part to cover during these times. I just can't count on not being needed at any given time. Tonight's shoot hopefully marks the end – or at least a pause – in the chaos. While still challenging, it at least breaks the cycle of no creative personal outlet for a significant period.

The nice part is, sometimes it takes these extended pauses to really propel something to another level or take a concept you've been working on in another direction. I tend to develop new stylistic or conceptual components to my work by starting off with a rough idea, then basically shooting variants on that theme or look for a period of time. That's why you'll see me putting out stuff on one color of paper for a while, or shooting one light in the corner in as many directions around the model as I can for a period of time. The clothes (or lack thereof) may change, the girl may change, but something stays consistent. I keep feeling I've still got more variety I can extract from this or that look.

Then, it happens. The shit hits the fan. I've got to make an emergency trip or two or six across the state to solve a problem for a customer, or a problem caused by an employee. Or one of the kids gets sick. Or I run out of scotch. (I take donations – Talisker is a favorite.) It may be a couple of days of my brain having to do a 180, or in the recent case it could be nearly a month. When the dust settles and the glass is at least half full again, I come back to it, but there's always that “now where was I?” factor to some degree.

I've learned to embrace that. It still frustrates me to no end that the momentum must be broken, for at least some period of time. But most of the time, it's that very break that is needed to cause you to do something just a little bit different. You draw upon the muscle memory you've built in, but disconnect yourself from the routine just enough to cause you to do something different. The routine gives you the foundation you need to be able to innovate, but that innovation comes in the form of some type of punctuated equilibrium. That new look is a fish that just got up and walked right out of the ocean.

Now that things are a bit settled, I've got a few things on the horizon.

  • I'll be sharing some retouching walk through videos showing how I address skin and some basic tonal corrections.

  • I'll be taking a road trip to shoot at a location that's been on my bucket list for quite some time. Not going to say where until things are a bit more solid, but it's within the state and I can't make enough excuses for why I haven't done it yet.

  • I'll be posting some Q&A Interviews with a few models, photographers, editors, etc. on a variety of topics related to photography, modeling, nudity, cachaca vs rum, and things that are better with Sriracha.

Thanks for following along, even though sometimes I take a turn down a dirty road, and may kick up some dust from time to time.


#artist #creativity #timemanagement #oregon #nudephotography #fashionphotography #glamour #Breaks #Cycles

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© 2019 by Nick Johnson.