Feed your muse. No limits. Try shooting everything at least once.
I had no idea I'd love shooting falling apart, fading, regal, rural buildings like the above, until I found myself driving down a Georgia highway into Jefferson on a beautiful spring day two years ago. Now, I'm obsessed.
Something about this Southern Belle mesmerized my imagination, drew me to the side of the road and demanded my unfailing devotion. My new Nikon D7100 in my trunk (No tripod yet. Bad fledgling photographer. BAD!), I rolled out of my car as if in a trace and roamed the roadside until I found a vantage point where I could capture her regal self, all elegant and refusing to acknowledge how far past her prime she'd been allowed to flounder.
She sang to me. How could I not pause and compose her a melody?
How could you not stop the next time those emotions churn, the world shimmers, and you're fixated on something no one else around you sees?
Until your love for whatever obscure detail or flutter of reality has caught your eye shines through in the image you create...
This was the baritone voice humming from across that rural highway, by the way.
I wasn't getting away without including him in our opera.
The clouds, the beauty of our natural world, is what first caught my eye that day.
But these structures. Their forever stories and all they could teach us. This is what made me late for whatever was happening in Jefferson that I was on my way to doing.
I couldn't pass by, allow them to fade, without listening and adding whatever I could to their song.
I've been a professional artist (author, editor and ghost writer) for fourteen years. I've learned a thing or two about gifts and accepting them as the muses they are.
This day, these images, were pure happenstance. Or where they?
They've become my muse ever since. My eyes are open to the proud past crumbling around us, and how important it is to preserve and record every flicker we can.
Nature is still my first love.
The clouds that day were crazy gorgeous. Capturing them was a dream.
But grabbing them reflected in the windows of this "downtown" Jefferson building was my jam.
And I never would have thought to look at the architecture around me once I got to town, if it weren't for that grand old belle who'd cast her spell on me a few moments earlier. To miss them would have been a shame.
Listen to those voices in your head.
Respect inspiration's muse.
Even if you don't do THAT kind of photography, press the shutter and discover what the world is eager to share with you and your viewers.
Because of that generous spring day two years ago, these are examples of the images I and those who follow me now get to treasure.
I haunt opportunities to honor these fading marvels.
How lucky am I, as a nature photographer, to have been shown that I can merge my passion for the natural world with my deep love for the footprints we've left on our journey through?
A gaggle of fellow photographers and I captured this glorious memory of a working farm. It was raining. You can see the ripples in the pond reflection. We didn't feel a thing as we scrambled to honor the moment.
This gentleman was a schoolhouse once, proudly overlooking the valley where his contribution has long since been forgotten.
It's a hay barn now.
Just don't tell him that.
And could anything be more marvelous than this high-atop-a-mountain gem? A living ghost perched, shining in a valley of emeralds.
I couldn't stop staring, slack jawed. And I didn't have a wide enough lens or distant enough vantage point to capture the vastness of the green cloud of tara comforting this weary workhorse. I did my best. I hope it's enough to evoke the awe I felt as I shot.
I've decided her name is Jasmine.
Just imagine the stories, the lives, she could tell.
What will your stories be?
How will you tell them?
You're an artist. And as such, I assure you the world knows far more than you about what you were placed in its path to create.
Say yes to everything. Love and shoot it all.
Find your emotional and inspirational home in whatever opportunity next awaits.
Then release each and every discovery to be exprienced by those who might join you on your journey!