Ask Anything: How to Stay Inspired

I am so excited to launch this new section of the blog!

I have realized that I can come up with all the content I want on this blog, all the things that I THINK will be helpful to you.  But how will I actually know it helps you?  Only if you tell me!

So I launched this section to invite any photographer, creative, bride, or wedding vendor – to ask the big questions.  I love to write, and I want to serve you well, so I would be honored to answer any question I can.  So please – comment at the end of this post – or in any “Ask Anything” post at all – and it will give me some great ideas for future posts.

That being said – I received my first “Ask Anything” question via text message from a friend.  She asked me,

 

{ “How do you stay motivated?  You know, as a photographer wight his weather changing it gets darker faster in the day.  I am always curious how artistic people stay positive when its super dark outside.” }

 

As a caveat, I want to tell you that all creative people (which is everyone, by the way!  The only difference is in how much we practice it and let it out!) have different ways of staying inspired.  This has to do with our personalities, our life experiences, and just what we like.  We all have different things that light us on fire.

For me, this very season, fall, is a huge motivator for me!  If you haven’t visited my studio or looked at my website and noticed, I’m slightly obsessed with fall.  I love the colors of fall foliage, the crisp air, the taste of EVERYTHING pumpkin, wearing boots and skinny jeans, wrapping colorful scarves around my neck.  It just pretty much all screams Kerri.  So consequently, this season tends to motivate me to create.

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(The above photos are courtesy of Aida Krgin – thank you!)

 

And seasons themselves motivate me.  I love living in the Northeast.  The way leaves change and flowers grow and snow falls – the world becomes one big gift to unwrap to me. And winter “wonderland”?  Wonder is a state that I live in, pretty frequently.  I see the leaves fall and watch them as they gracefully float through the air.  I notice buds on the trees as they “spring” up – and love to see them before other people notice.  And I watch snow falling out the window as it blankets the earth with peace.

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My hardest time isn’t the fall – it’s February / March.  You know, that time we’re just all done with winter, we’re done with it being so hard to get anywhere, we’re ready for Spring and it just isn’t spring YET.  That’s my toughest time.  And the dark isn’t as hard on my soul as gloom.  I can handle any winter day as long as the sun is shining.  It’s when the day is covered with clouds that it affects the way I feel.

So I level with you.  We all have a time that is tough to create – it rubs against our skin and we just feel like crawling under the covers.  And sometimes, we do.

But my best advice might be freeing to you.  And crazy for creatives and artists to hear.

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The key to staying creative is practice.

That’s right.  Doing it anyway even when we don’t feel like it.

I think as creatives, we’re so emotionally oriented that it doesn’t occur to us that we don’t have to give every emotion power over what we do.  But we don’t.  Because I don’t think writers feel like writing every day.  And honestly, I have driven to some photo shoots playing soft music and praying because I just. wasn’t. feeling. “inspired.”  But, there is something so powerful about just showing up.  Stepping, one foot in front of another with a camera in my hand and doing what I already know how to do.  Click.  And every click brings back that inspiration.  It really does.

 

And during hard seasons, I suggest you try something new.

Challenge yourself to embrace the season by trying something different.  If you’re a photographer, maybe take up a dance or yoga class.  Or an actor, take up pottery.  Or a singer, take up watercolor.  Do those things you have been curious to try.  Or just start writing.

I think one of the most freeing things is seeing that you can escape the boxes of how a season makes you feel.  For me, in winter, I have to literally “escape” the feeling of cabin fever and feeling stuck in the house.  How?  I put on snow shoes and go for a hike.  And every time I do, I feel better, breathing fresh air into lungs.

We can all do that.  Try something new, and it will be like breathing fresh air into lungs.

 

And finally, and I think most important, is community.

Don’t do this creative journey alone.  Be around other creatives, especially ones who inspire you.  Go on a photo walk with other photographers.  Put on a show with other actors.  Have dinner and talk about ideas.  Take a creative class together.

Know that there’s so much power in gleaning inspiration from other people.  Because the truth is?  We ALL feel dry sometimes.  Yes, even me.  We all have moments or days or seasons when we just feel blah.  And in those times, other people and their presence in your life may just be the thing that ignites that spark in you back into a flame.  Be around people who ignite that flame rather than snuff it.  Because the world needs that flame – and so do you.

 

I truly hope this post was helpful!  Feel free to share with others if it helped you.  And of course, comment below and it may just inspire my next post.  See?!  I need you too!!!

 

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New Headshots and Why I Love Mentoring {JM Mentoring Sessions}

Happy Friday everyone!

I thought this would be an awesome way to end the week!  I was mentored this summer by the fabulous photography team Justin and Mary in Connecticut.  They shared my new headshots on their blog this week, and I had to share them with you!

I thought this would be a wonderful way to say a huge shout out THANK YOU to them.  A thank you to Mary for letting me sit on her couch and ask tons of hard questions, to which she would always encourage me to ask WHY and dig deeper and deeper.  It was hard to dig it all out in the moment, but honestly, it was some of the most helpful things for me at a time when I felt stuck.  We all feel stuck sometimes.  Especially creatives.  We have so many ideas and know there are HUGE things ahead for us.  I know at least I have always felt that way – that I have something inside that I know was meant to be shared with the world.  The process of realizing what that is is muddy and difficult but rewarding.

And honestly, I couldn’t have made it this far as a photographer without photographers like Katelyn James and Justin and Mary.  These photographers are beacons of light that always lift my eyes and keep my heart centered on who and what it is that I love.

I’m extremely grateful for the day with Mary and Justin, for Mary’s wisdom and Justin’s patience and technical guidance, for their open hearts and of course for these fabulous images.

If you don’t know where to go next, friend, or if you just need help getting there, mentoring is such a great idea!  We need each other.  Which is why I announced this week that I’m starting an ASK ANYTHING section to my blog.  Whether you’re a bride, photographer, creative, or wedding professional, start asking me anything – and I will be happy to answer what I can!  Some new and exciting things are coming this year – so be sure to stay in the loop:) The best is yet to come.  Of this I can be sure.

Thank you again Justin and Mary for your time and your fabulous work!  Love you guys!

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