What does that image have to do with the title? Nothing. But it's October. Deal with it.
You know those dreams you get where you find yourself running down a hill, and you feel like you’re either flying, or your legs will fall off? Yeah, that’s a thing. In my case, I tend to end up being unable to run full-tilt, stuck attempting to run in spurts to get to the metaphysical finish line. It’s as if my conscious knows I have the ability, but joints just won’t align to catapult me at the speed I realistically could be going. (I also tend to crash a lot of cars in my dreams… I’m a renegade dreamer, really).
I feel like that urge to run full-tilt mirrors the frantic, fast-paced real world we’re battling with every day. I don’t stop in my day-to-day life; I move swiftly and efficiently from one moment to the next (spare for the few days that fight back and work upside down) without holding back. I’m that chick that will run for the train instead of waiting for the next one; I’m also that chick that can’t stand being stuck behind a slow walker, and that chick that runs to her car from the train. Why? I don’t want to waste my time in transit. This all being said.. I feel like those dreams with lead-loaded legs are giving me a subconscious message:
Hey, fool – SLOW DOWN.
I’m not saying I’ll stop running for my train, but maybe one of those days I could walk a bit slower, look around, and maybe take that next one instead.
There is something to be said about living in the moment, and milking it for all its worth. In a recent photoshoot, I had a technical issue and had to slow things down instead of my usual machine gun shooting style. At first considering this a burden, I quickly realized how nice it was to take the time with my clients, to really focus on the surroundings and posing to make sure each image I took was worth it. Experience has taught me not to miss a moment, but I haven’t been confronted with the concept of enjoying each moment as well; you notice things. You take a bit more in. Your perspective changes. You can take the extra few seconds between shots to interact with your subjects instead of quickly moving from pose to pose. I’m not usually one to show too many sneak peaks from the back of my camera during a shoot, because realistically that tiny screen can’t do the photo justice considering the work that goes into each photo post-shoot, but that smile that comes with getting a quick glimpse at the goods.. worth it.
Slowing down also allows you to make sure your vision is completely in line with what your client is looking for; it’s so easy to assume you know exactly what he, she, or they want, but in reality you need to apply some kindergarten-taught, age-old rules: watch, look, listen (or is it stop, look, listen? I may have been eating chalk during that lesson..) You need to be on your client’s page, not assuming you’ve already read the book and know the ending. We can sometimes be so quick to assume that because we know how to do our job, there isn’t anything left to be taught. Rethink this.
So. The challenge: take your time today. Stop, look, listen, and take it in. I commute into the city every weekday and really haven’t stopped to look at the city. It’s easy to look at your feet and move forward without a thought. Look up, look around, and take things in. You’d be surprised what you can find.
Psssst... ps: have you checked out the website lately? Lookin' shnaz! Yes, shnaz is a word.