What inspires you?
We all want to be inspired. That's why we love fine dining, nature, travel, and days that feel like a dream. That's why Pinterest took off and why it's one of the major social tools today. And while Instagram platforms can offer education and such, inspiration is what really drives the social channel.
p.s. How darling is my grandma? We call her, "Meme."
We know that we don't want to be inspired by copying others. We know we don't actually want to try to live someone else's life on the internet. So how can we take ownership of our inspiration and not wait for it to just happen to us?
I guess this is what I'm thinking: we can plan to be inspired.
As a wedding photographer, I can set aside time in my week to be inspired so that I walk into each wedding with fresh eyes. I did this right after the launch of the L&A presets and right before I flew out to PPA to speak at the Maine convention.
I had just spent weeks writing copy for the sales page, blog posts, email marketing, and the list goes on for the L&A launch. And it was time to switch gears to focus on Maine: leading a workshop and speaking to photogs about all things marketing.
I was ready to get finalize my speaking points because I love teaching. If I could teach about business all day, every day, I would totally do it. And then I would want to shoot weddings on the weekends.
Which is good! Because that's exactly what I'm doing! :)
But before I dove in to really nail down the transition points and visual elements for my talk, I decided to spend an hour at a greenhouse. There was no agenda. There were no rules.
All I needed to do was walk around for however long I wanted (which ended up being 1 hour) and look at plants. Seeing things in bloom and watching plants grow over time is something that inspires me!
As I'm sitting here on my couch in the morning light, I'm glancing up at the hanging plant that I brought home with me from my garden adventure. There's already new growth. And seeing that growth is inspiring to me.
And all of this - from the walk through the garden to taking ownership of my inspiration - it all brings me back to our December Colorado adventures...
I had just finished up with Jenna's senior photos in a nearby town and we were trying to find a great view of the mountains. My Uncle Shane was driving and my Aunt Steph and Meme were in the back seat. If you happened to be on Instagram story that day, you totally saw our shenanigans!
So there we are - driving all over the place and looking for a great view of the mountains. Being a photographer, I'm extremely picky about my view. Ha! I have to be high enough and close enough to the changing landscape and the light has to be just right.
We saw a sign for an overlook and pulled over. Tall, vibrant trees and then... the sky. (You can see what I'm talking about at the beginning of this post.)
It was beautiful all on its own. I followed the path and clutched my coat close to keep the warmth in. It wasn't a long walk, but the snow had melted and then froze again, which made it slippery. So my Meme and I linked arms and made our way down the path.
The trees parted ways and the view took my breath away. Let me just say - we do not have views like this in Missouri.
And, yes. I totally know this isn't even the best view! But it's beautiful, isn't it?
Standing there and looking out over the mountains inspired me. It was its own little miracle - a Missouri girl standing on the side of a mountain to watch the last bits of sun cascade over the distance.
And as I walked away, my perspective changed. I wasn't just looking ahead of myself anymore. I was looking up. Up to the sky. Up to the tips of those green trees.
Because when we're inspired, our perspective changes. We see the world in a way that we may have otherwise missed. There's something transformative about being inspired...