We had the pleasure of hosting an Olympic Gold medal winner in our home last week. In one of our conversations, my wife asked him if he would get nervous before a race. His answer is one I’ve heard before. “I’ve run the race in my mind so many times that by the time I get on the starting block, I’m just in the moment and running the race that I’ve already won. Nervousness never enters my thoughts.”
It’s a lesson we can apply to our work as artists too. In both my commercial work and my personal work, I’m always aware of all the variables I have to deal with. So if I can visual in advance what the shoot is going to look like, I have a significantly better experience and come away with stronger images.
One way that I do that is to work with locations I have used in the past. By removing the stress of finding the right background, I’ve also removed a variable from the creative process so I can free my mind to focus only on the line, gesture and emotional content of the dancer’s pose.
Moreover, I can visualize in advance just how I will place the dancer in the location and what kinds of poses will work. Of course these serve as a jumping off point for what collaboration and divine inspiration provides. But using that familiarity allows me to challenge myself to make better photographs with ease.
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