Do you easily give flight to the thoughts that haunt you?
I’ve been giving this topic a lot of thoughts as I prepare to teach my very first “Book of Happy” Class in January at Kim Winey Photography’s Reboot Workshop.
SO many of us go on about out daily lives haunted by what goes through our minds. Thoughts pour in and out, running in the background like the processor of a computer. You think them, give them life, feel them, all the while perhaps not acknowledging what they are or how they’re shaping your past, present and future.
At first, I worried about teaching about my Book of Happy. I have a pretty great life. It’s pretty great now because I worked at it. My parents have been the best teachers in happiness and positivity that I could have ever asked for. During our conversation this past Monday morning, my Mom said, “You weren’t always happy. You weren’t exactly a happy kid but you’ve always worked at it.” I appreciate her words so much because they’re true. To get to a point where the haunted thoughts are far less than the purposeful and happy thoughts takes a great deal of work and effort.
It begins with a commitment to oneself to do something different to achieve a different result.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
My family always encouraged me to try something new or different when something wasn’t working out. For the better part of ten years I didn’t listen to this advice at all. I knew better and therefor kept doing what I was always doing expecting something to change. It’s no wonder that my wedding and portrait photography business failed as well as my food, lifestyle and fashions blogs. The truth was that I was never willing to do something that I had never done… until now.
When I left my Director of Innovation position at iHOMES COLORADO, I did so with a big promise to myself: that this time around I would do things differently, try new things and first and foremost (as I like to call it) get my mind right. This is code for “let go of all that isn’t serving you,” and examine what currently flows through my mind and change it. I set my intentions out to the Universe to present me with opportunities, people and ideas to do so and to allow me to see those opportunities and take them.
I strongly believe that we can diminish and rid ourselves of our most haunted thoughts by simply programming new thoughts into our minds. It takes work, hard effort and most importantly, a commitment to yourself to try something new.
Go into 2019 with a commitment to reverse your haunted thoughts. How will you begin? Leave your comments below.
Behind the scenes of Haunted
I didn’t create a speed edit or video of Haunted because it would have been inappropriate. Many times, my skirt flung in the wrong direction 😳… I still want to take you through some of the process with the images below.
1. Makeshift Home Studio
I created this image in my bedroom using a rickety rolling garment rack that I’ve had for years. Naturally, the rolling garment rack was not tall enough so I covered a large frame box with a second black sheet and set the rack on top 😉 (super sturdy hehe). I wanted that black bedsheet there for a few reasons. The first, to cover the light coming in from the window behind it – I did not want this image to have two light sources. The second reason was because I knew this image was going to be dark and moody so it would be easier to blend my hair and to cut myself off this background in Photoshop.
2. Pose testing
It’s very important to me to test a post before a shoot. I usually practice in front of the mirror to see how it is going to look. When I am on location, this is super helpful because I won’t always have the time to practice, the weather is changing, it’s cold or I am plain old embarrassed. Practicing a pose beforehand in front of a mirror is always good practice because you can fine tune what story you are trying to tell through your imagery. In this case, a mirror would not have worked so I took some photos before hand and looked at them on my camera.
3. Take one!
This was the very first image I photographed and realized a few things about my dress: I wanted it to be flying. Since I didn’t know how much leg would show while the dress was flying, I scrunched the dress up to my hips to get my bare legs in the frame (hence why I said inappropriate earlier). I also noticed that I wanted a more dramatic backbend. I was okay with not showing my face because what I was interested in was everything else! Plus, I enjoy a little mystery.
4. Supplemental shots
Most of my fine art portraits are comprised of building images with images. It is important to think about all of the elements your concept ahead of time and this is where a sketchbook is great to nail down the details or if you have trouble envisioning how things will look. While I liked these supplemental images a lot, they didn’t work for this image because my legs were up in the base image. I find it so much easier to composite images in when you get them as accurate as possible (that’s not to say that you can’t puppet warp, warp, transform, etc) because the lighting will be more accurate (something you really need to consider in your images).
5. Black and White
I have a soft spot for black and white film looking images. It takes me back to where I started. I brought the image into Alien Skin Exposure 2 (I’m behind on the upgrade) and played around with my favorite Kodak films. Here is the funny thing… In college I worked SO hard to not scratch my film and make sure that all dust had been removed from the film before exposing my paper. Now, those scratches and dust give this image more character. It’s funny how things change.
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