A few weeks ago I was spending a lovely afternoon at Target, as one does when they have had enough of everyone in their house. (In case you don’t know, Target’s book section never disappoints. Unlike traditional book stores that carry an overwhelming selection of books, Target whittles their collection down to an amount that you can peruse in just minutes! You’ll find a vast amount of best sellers and classic favorites, and sometimes you just need Target to tell you what you want to read.)
It was then that I found a great new book by Tara Schuster called Buy Yourself the F***ing Lillies. I was intrigued by the title, I do love a cleverly disguised curse word. Plus, Target had endorsed it so it must be a good read. And as always, Target proved right! (Target is always right.) The book is part self-help and part memoire, and Tara, who describes herself as a “ninja of self-love,” is absolutely adorable and hilarious. After just a few chapters of encouraging me to also love myself, I decided I to give a little gift to myself. I pulled up some local florists and found the most amazing purple tulips, and yes, I bought myself the f***ing tulips.
Soon after I decided to photograph my tulips in a series with my Macro lens. I have been practicing Macro Photography in earnest for about 6 months and these were all shot using my Canon 6D, 100mm Macro lens EF lens, with an aperture of 2.8. I set up a mini studio in my basement and used inexpensive studio lighting and a spray bottle of water to get the droplet effect. I then edited the images in Lightroom.
One of the best pieces of advice I took away from the book was to learn how to silence my inner critic. (How can you love yourself if you say mean things to yourself all day?) Actually, Tara calls her my “Frenemy Within.” We all have one, and as Photographers or Artists that voice often questions our skills, compares us to our peers or worse, accuses us of not being worthy of calling ourselves true Photographers or Artists. So, what does it take to officially label ourselves anything? A college degree? According to my research (Google,) the very first college degree was given out in 1622. So according to that logic there were no artists before that? Ummm… fun fact: Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa between 1503 and 1519. If one of the most famous works of Art in the world was painted by someone without an Art degree, I think I am OK to call myself an Artist and go on my merry way.
So, when your inner critic arrives with their list of judgements, try hitting them back with some solid facts, and then build up a list of personal truths to go along with it. Also, everyone was once a beginner, allow yourself to be on a journey to improvement, not mastery, save that for Leonardo.
PS: Happy Spring everyone! Here in the North East flowers and trees are blooming and the weather is slowly becoming tolerable again. It’s time to dust of my camera and get outside to shoot! Drop me a comment and let me know what you think of the series, and let me know what you are looking forward to now that Spring has sprung! And as always, all of my images are available for purchase, and thank you for supporting my blog!