What is the source of inspiration?
Is it the Muse, who places her gentle hand on your shoulder and whispers in your ear? Is it the excitement of having a new piece of gear? Is it seeing another artist’s work and realizing what is possible? Or is it diving deep inside yourself?
In my mind, inspiration can come from only One True Source: Love.
Passion for your subject, passion for life, passion for someone you love…it all comes down to love.
With love, all things are possible. The future is wide open. The doubts that nagged you at your lowest depths suddenly seem so trivial to be non-existent.
I see so many photographers who are on the never-ending quest for technical perfection. I know this will sound contrary to what I’ve been saying, but I actually have no problem with that. If it gives them joy, then go for it.
But it will never be art.
Art comes from a crazy place – a place that can’t be fully defined, no more than love can. It can’t be measured in megapixels or sensor size. It’s measured in emotion and depth of feeling.
Once you’re able to allow yourself to dive into the deep pool of passion, you’ll realize it’s not as scary or intimidating as it seemed from the outside, in fact it’s rather peaceful. Your purpose and mission in life becomes clear, and that brings clarity and serenity.
Keith Carter has a passion for his home town. Ansel Adams for Yosemite and the West. Clyde Butcher for the Everglades. Vermeer for light. It goes on and on.
Find your passion, open yourself up to all it entails, and the gentle but powerful Muse will be standing beside you forever.
(Thanks to my friend Quinn Jacobson for the initial Plato quote)