Last Thursday, I drove into town and picked up Jess. Jess and I had never met. I saw her profile picture pop up on my Facebook "recommended friends" and was drawn in immediately. I know what you're thinking: "Stalker!!!" Well... Maybe that is a bit weird, but not when you realise that I'm a photographer, we had lots of mutuel friends, and I'm always on the lookout for a potential model.
I messaged Jess, explained who I was, and asked her if she'd be up for doing a really quick test shoot with me one day. Thankfully, she accepted, and we arranged to meet up a few days later.
When I woke up on Thursday, I was feeling tired. I'd had a busy week of travelling, it had been a bit emotional at times (#stressed), and I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the amount of editing I needed to do. I knew I had my test shoot with Jess booked in for that afternoon, but I'll be honest... I thought about cancelling it. When you're feeling overwhelmed, sometimes getting out there and creating can feel like a lot of pressure. Meeting someone new is scary. Feeling like you've got to be on your A game all the time... is scary.
I didn't cancel our shoot, though. I told the little voice in my head to shut up. I told myself I was going ignore the doubt. I reminded myself that there was no pressure, that if the images didn't work out well, it didn't matter. I let myself off the hook. The day flew by, Jess and I eventually made our way to one of my favourite spots...and then magic happened.
We laughed. We chatted. Jess told me the secrets behind her amazing hair. I jumped around, slipping on rocks, trying not to fall over while attempting to capture every moment of golden light we had.
We were together for less than an hour. We didn't worry about clothes, or hair, or make up. We just went out there and had fun. And you know what? These are some of my favourite images that I've ever taken.
What did I learn from my shoot with Jess? That sometimes you just need to get out there, without too much of a plan, and create. You need to let yourself off the hook, and go with the flow. You need to relieve yourself of the pressure of being perfect all the time. You need to have fun. But most of all, you just need to create.
So if you're a creative person, and you're not feeling totally motivated to make something new, here's my challenge to you: every day, for at least 30 minutes, try and create something. It doesn't have to be big. It can be the smallest of things, and you never even need to show it to anyone. But you might just surprise yourself and create something you absolutely love.