Finding Inspiration

· December 11, 2011 · 4:55 pm · Get Inspired

Inspiration is everywhere.  It can be found in the everyday things that surround us.  It can also be found in the beautiful things that we are unable to absorb every day.  It’s in the things we read, touch, smell and even in the things that others tell us about.  So why is it so hard to grab hold of and take ownership of?  Have you ever heard the praise “stop and smell the roses”?  Well, there you go.  You simply have to slow down long enough to experience it and to decide which items in our lives inspire us the most.

I sometimes think I am lucky to have been born and raised in a generation that has allowed me to experience both what I call ‘manual life’ as well as the ‘digital life’.  One thing is for sure and that’s we are bombarded with more inspiration today than could have possibly been imagined just one generation back.  My grandparents gathered their food from the land, while my generation downsized to a small garden in the backyard!  Today’s young adults have most likely never gone pea pickin’…  The digital age has brought us the ability to have more information and inspiration thrown at us at one time than ever before in history.  What this age didn’t bring was the conscious ability to SLOW DOWN long enough to be able to sort through it and to smack us in the face with the obvious tactile experiences that we really need in order to draw conclusions about what truly knocks our socks off.  I not only remember going pea pickin’, but I remember the smells, the bright sunshine on my face and the snapping sound that the pods made when they were pulled on.  I guess you could say that I have an entirely differently perspective of an actual pea pod than those who have only seen pictures of them on the web.

What I’m trying to say is that true inspiration can be anything from a color, texture, a feeling or an actual moment in time.  But, one thing is for sure is that the things that truly inspire us have actually impacted us in some way.  Are those pea pods the reason green has become my favorite color?  Who knows?  But, one thing is for sure and that’s the impact of picking those peas has stuck with me my entire life.  They gave me a special appreciation for the weather worn hands of my grandmother as she showed me how to reach under the plant and grab hold of the prize that would end up in the well used basket we placed them in.  So when I think about the things that truly inspire me, what I don’t do is expect it to come from anyplace other than my own life.

Take another quick look at the header of this blog.  There is MUCH inspiration there.  I have always found inspiration in old cameras.  I own a collection of them and each and every one of the cameras you see here are in that collection.  Also, the background that encases the old cameras here came from the cover of a little book that I use to write ideas in.  Inside that book is a treasure trove of ideas from simple things that came to me in the middle of the night to some great advice given to me from other photographers.  That book is one of my most valued possessions and it is only half full of ideas.  I’m excited about what the future holds for that little book.  The inspiration for my personal blog wasn’t difficult at all for me to find because it was right here in my studio.

So I will end this with a challenge…  I love a challenge and love to give them out like candy so here is yours!  Find six things that inspire you in the room you are in while reading this.  I don’t mean things that you simply like, I mean things that you can relate to, things that truly make your heart sing, things that you could connect with and create with.  If you can do that, then you might just be an artist.  ~Cindi Kay

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a Photographer's Blog

Sometimes a girl’s gotta say what a girl’s gotta say and so I’ve created an entirely new place for me to do just that. I have been a photographer for over 25 years so I like to think I have much to share about the business of photography. I have learned many difficult lessons over the years while building my business and I now find myself on a mission to help others by teaching them how to avoid the pitfalls of this business. I’ve decided to share as much as I possibly can about my experiences in the world of photography including the good, the bad and the really ugly stupid. I’ve also decided to share some tips and tricks on how to DO IT RIGHT and that includes sharing how I learned from my mistakes and found myself as an artist. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it certainly has NEVER once been a boring journey. I hope you’ll join me here on my new blog as I take you down memory lane, teach you a few new tricks and even offer some heartfelt advice to those who have chosen professional photography as their career path. Over the years, I have helped many up & coming photographers to develop their skills and I have enjoyed each and every moment of it. I have accomplished a great deal more than I ever dreamed I would behind the camera including winning the coveted FujiFilm Masterpiece Award, the Kodak Gallery Award as well as having the honor of being awarded the Photographic Craftsman's Degree from Professional Photographer's of America. Mix that in with a few 1st Place print competition awards a "Best of Show" and "Photographer of the Year" and hopefully you have the makings of a few good stories.

Cindi Kay McDaniel, Cr. Photog., CPP