Not only is “Focus” the title of the group photography exhibition opening this month at the Bloomingdale Park District Museum, but I have chosen this word as my mantra for 2013. Yes, I have a mantra. I like that idea better than making resolutions that will most likely be broken before the first full moon of the chilly night time sky.
Before I get too far, the word “mantra” as defined by Wikipedia means “a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation." So, this year I will focus on transformation. Specifically I am going to focus on the business aspect of my photographic life. For the past two years I have studied, learned, practiced, improved my technical skills - color, printing, lighting, studio, post-production, work-flow, editing, critiques; in sum, creating works of art that I like enough to share with other people.
Now it is time to get serious, to transform my hobby into a business that can be financially rewarding as well as artistically satisfying. My goal (yes I will still have goals) is to avoid spreading myself too thin. If I try to do too much, then I will accomplish nothing. I will take it one step at a time, baby steps if I have to, or “umbrella steps” to get a little creative. Anyone who played “Captain May I?” will understand umbrella steps - those kind of whirly, fun, free-for-all movements that can advance you beyond the limitations of silly rules.
Step 1 is to Get Organized. This has been my focus for the last few weeks, and will continue to be my focus for the month of January. Empty out the closets, throw out all that stuff that I haven’t worn, used, or seen in the last two years. Oh, do I still have that pink sweater? Why? I will never wear it - out it goes. Salvation Army, Goodwill, Cancer Federation, have at it. Organize that pile of papers and either file them in labeled folders, or throw them out as unnecessary clutter. Now I have room to store my newly acquired gear, props, and accessories. Wicker baskets are great. They look good, they are trendy, and most importantly, they hide the stuff. Less clutter equates to calmer state of mind, which translates to ability to focus.
Step 2. There is no step 2. Not until February. Remember? One step at a time. Oh, I know what it is, I am just not telling. You will have to tune in next month to find out.
The accompanying image “Incapsulation” is one of the framed images I have on display as part of the “Focus” exhibit. The underlying images were taken on my recent trip to Austin and San Antonio, Texas. If you have a chance, please stop by to see me and many other local photographers at the Artist’s Reception on Friday, January 18 from 6 - 8 pm. Complimentary/refreshments will be served. For more information, go to Bloomingdale Park District Museum, 108 S Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL.