This summer Brandon and I will be heading up a mission trip to Belize, my first official international trip. Needless to say, I’m a bit terrified. A part of me wants to just stay home curled up under my nice warm blanket with our two dogs and a bowl of chocolate ice-cream. I know… pretty selfish. I realize its not that far, but lets be honest, anytime we do something outside our comfort zone it is scary. And this is not a vacation, this is a mission to bring the love of Christ to others. We will be living and working in an area with very little worldly items. For instance – no beds, only one paved street in the entire city, a lot of poverty and wild dogs we have to stay clear of, kinda paints the picture right.
However, going outside our comfort zone is not always about going to a place but rather embarking on a journey that involves continually challenging our assumptions and expanding the boundaries of what feels comfortable to us. When it comes to photography everyone’s comfort zones are different. For some, taking the leap and going full time with their business is outside the comfort zone. Maybe its shooting a wedding midday 12 noon in Florida during the month of August. Or perhaps its sending your engaged couple off in a canoe with confetti while you hang from the side of a busy bridge, the sun going in and out of the clouds changing the lighting every few seconds all to capture an incredible moment.
As we explore and expand our boundaries, here are some thoughts regarding comfort zones — and how to get outside of them.
Identify Your Fears – The root of all hesitation to change is fear. Once you identify what your fear is you can take the steps to overcome it. If you don’t identify your fears it will be difficult to recognize your success once you’ve overcome them.
Be OK With Failure – The best part of life is learning from our failures. There is no need to hide it, run from it or dread it. Failure is a powerful learning tool that makes us stronger and gives us true character.
I will let you in on a little secret – its ok to say to your clients “lets try this, it may not work but on the other hand it may come out looking amazing”. And if on the first try its not perfect try again. We have had clients do some very challenging things on shoots and guess what – that photo usually ends up being their absolute favorite.
Rev-up Your Curiosity – If you allow your curiosity to guide you, you will always find something new. Get to know your Clients! Be curious about how they met, how he proposed, what they like to do and were they like to go. Then challenge yourself to really tell their love story in a new way.
Keep Some Routines + Chuck Some – There’s value in routine. But like anything valuable, routines ought to be subject to occasional evaluation. A good smack of spontaneity can bring out the truest side of one’s self.