My clients don’t usually ask me, but other photographers ask me; where does my inspiration for my work come from? I think my clients would love to ask me that question. Some have said so. But for some reason they feel that is secret information. It is no secret at all. My inspiration comes from my clients.
The real secret is to slow down long enough for your clients to speak to you. I am not talking about them speaking with words to you in person. That is where it starts. But the real inspiration comes from letting what they say, who they are, what it is like to be in their presence, the feeling you get from them; all of that and more, to simmer in your mind and let it “speak” to you.
I dream about my clients and what they want to accomplish. Not the dream you have in sleep, but the dreaded day-dreaming. The kind of dreaming that is oft criticized but for me is a tool. As a kid in elementary school I can remember looking out the window forever. I should have been doing my schoolwork, but I couldn’t help it. What I could imagine, while I was day-dreaming, was so much more interesting than what was going on in class. As you would guess, I was often criticized for this activity, still am. But dreaming is what brings inspiration to my work for my clients.
I have been looking for a new place to live and work lately. I moved to a place that did not have a great view. In fact it had no view at all. Wow! Did that effect my work? I couldn’t work. I couldn’t dream. I was stuck. I made a huge mistake and needed to get away from that place. I knew it didn’t have a good view. But I didn’t realize how much it would change how I worked. I realize it now. That is why I am looking for a place where I can dream, be inspired. I don’t care if it is one room and four walls. It has to have a view. A place I can create. Despite the criticism that may come my way I will continue to day dream, for that is where I find my inspiration for my clients, for my family, for my life.