Beryl Ayn Young » Photographic teachings for the mind, body, & soul

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Wisdom Wednesday | Advice

Sometimes it can be really hard to follow advice.

  • Everything in moderation. (right after I’m done scarfing down this pint of ice cream…)
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. (as the internal dialogue drones on – “does so and so like me? does this dress make me look fat? oh my gosh, did I have food stuck in my teeth that whole time?!”)
  • Only bite off what you can chew. (while my to do list continues to grow exponentially…)

I am frequently asked for advice. From my family (whose house should we spend the holidays at this year?). My friends (should I break up with him?). My coworkers (what software should I use to do this?). My clients (what camera should I buy?). I like giving advice. It makes me feel appreciated. I am a people person. I enjoy talking through issues. I love to teach what I know. And I seem to always have an opinion.

But lately I’ve had a problem. I can’t seem to follow my own advice.

This month has been Christmas in July here at Be Young Photography. If you’re on the nice list I’ve been sending 2 gifts via email containing photo tips for take better pictures of the special little people in your life. Are you on the list yet? Don’t worry, if you’re late to the party I’ll be sending an archive of all the gifts at the end of the month.

This week as I sat down to work on “Gift 6” a funny thing happened. I almost couldn’t bring myself to push the send button.

Because the gift I was about send was advice I am hard pressed to follow myself.

Don’t forget those un-planned, un-posed, lifestyle images! Take a snap as those kiddos are zoned out in front of the TV. Or taking their afternoon nap. Or eating lunch. Or sharing a special moment playing with their sibling. It’s just as important to capture them in everyday life as it is to plan out special shots just for you. In 20 years you’ll want to have every expression, every age, every moment bottled up so you can look back and remember. Start capturing those everyday shots today and bottling up those moments.

Going “pro” has certainly been a double edged sword. I love having the knowledge and know how to stage beautiful images. I love the fun that comes with being able to think creatively and make art behind the camera lens. But, I am my own worst critic as well. If the house is a mess I don’t want to shoot. If we are in our pajamas and having a chill day I am too lazy to shoot. If I’ve been behind the camera all week photographing other people’s families I am too tired to shoot. If the big fancy camera is tucked away in my camera bag and all I have is my compact camera I am too proud to shoot. As a pro I don’t want to post shots that “don’t make the cut”.

And now, as a result of ignoring my own advice, my portfolio of family images has suffered.

I resolved in that instant, the moment I hit send button to pick up my camera phone which was sitting right next to me. I snapped a few photos. And I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Because in that instant I started following my own advice.

How about you? What advice do you find it most challenging to follow? In life? In photography? Do you take enough family snapshots? Share your words of wisdom or a snapshot of your life here today.

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