A young couple with two small children sat at the table next to us at our favorite local restaurant last evening. The younger of the two children sat in a high-chair at the head of the table intently drinking in his family and the world around him.
The father masterfully focused all that he could of a two-year-old’s attention on a tablet display screen. With amusement and dedication he’d draw a letter on the screen and place it in front of the boy. He’d draw a letter ‘J’ and the little boy would gleefully yell out … ‘S’. He’d erase the ‘J’ and replace it with a letter ‘T’ and the little boy would yell out … ‘R’. This went on for nearly ten minutes. Not once did the little boy guess the right answer. Neither the father nor the child minded. The game finally ended when our section of the restaurant erupted in laughs and knowing understanding.
Photographic creativity is a lot like that. The more that you try to define it, the more that it just happens as you become fully realized … participating in life as it engages you. Like the mind of a child, a photographer pushes the shutter in an attempt to express what he sees in front of him before it slips away. Sometimes he gets it all wrong. But many times the purity of the attempt produces his greatest work.
Looking for your creative vision? Find your sponge-like inner child that simply reacts. That part of you that is a keen observer reaching out to the world as it unfolds in front of you.
When you step out on the street, don't forget to bring your Cheerios, juice boxes or whatever it takes to keep a fresh and childlike view of the world.