My Summer Challenge

May 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

Moving through my career I am often swallowed in the world of fashion and beauty. I am often required to devote my time and expertise to others for the purpose of their final product. That is not to say that I do not love it, because I do. However, what I am saying is it is important to me that I take time to remember all the reasons why I fell in love with photography in the first place. I loved the way it allowed me to tell a full story, tell the struggles and triumphs of those near and far to me. This past weekend I was able to work with Photographer Mickey Armstrong on his Curves Ahead Project, a project that highlights the lives of plus size models and their difficulties with being photographed accurately and in a way that complements their curves as a woman. It was an amazing experience that brought a high level of emotion and gratitude, a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction in knowing that through my assistance I was able to help another person feel alive in a way that many other photographers are not able to do or refuse to do. 

When the photo shoot was done and over for the day I could not remember the last time I took a moment to photograph for a purpose other than fashion. I could not remember the last time I took on a project that meant something to me personally, something I could hold close to my heart whether other people liked it or not. For almost four weeks now I have contemplated running a summer challenge for students enrolled in grades 1-12. This is a challenge where they would photograph things in their surroundings and submit them every Saturday to be voted on for my week’s favorite. My plan was to put them all together in some type of way that would highlight the lives of each of these children through no other eyes but their own. Sounds great right? The problem is I let my hesitations and fears get in the way and hinder me. I just started my own company so what if the challenge did not go well, what if I did not reach as many children as I would like what if they were not able to submit any images. It was a constant worry of what if.

At the end of the day, I wish I had someone give me this challenge when I was younger. I wish I had someone that would have allowed me to express my creative abilities even if it never went anywhere. Because of my experience with the Curves Ahead Project and information I learned in the Book Yourself Solid workshop held this week by creative live, I am no longer afraid. I no longer have the fear of failure. My project will either work or will not. What I will accomplish no matter what is either a successful project or a successful attempt that will leave me with a direction to go in when I attempt it again the future.

I say all of that to say this. As you go on your journey as a photographer, or any other business you may be in, do not forget to take time to reflect on the things that brought you there. Take the time to step away so that you may fall in love with your craft all over again. Be inspired and rejuvenated.  Photography is my life, it is my craft. Photography is the reason I wake every morning with a smile on my face, and the very same reason I go to be every night with that same smile. With that being said, if you know of anyone in grades 1-12 let them know Photography by Akili will be offering a summer challenge where they can showcase their creative photographic talents, be judged, and shouted out on my twitter page. More details will be coming very soon. Be sure to tune in.



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