• Lara Flanagan

Day 45 - 360 days

Day 45 – 360 days

Non-essential purchases: none

Weight: 65.7 kg – 5.1 kilos in 45 days

Calories: Less than 1200

Alcohol: none (day 45 of 45)

Exercise: 60-minute walk. 28-minute yoga. 22-minute yoga. 21-minute yoga.

In the last couple of weeks, I have had an epiphany in that I have further honed down what I want to do. I have known for a while that I would like to make photography my full-time income, but I did not know how. I have played around with taking photos of families, weddings (scary sick in mouth sort of idea), doing destination work, editorial work, and various projects. I have concluded though that I don’t want to work with people, I simply want to take photos of beautiful things and sell my prints and calendars. I don’t want to be doing other people’s bidding, working to a timetable that is jarring, or asking how high when people tell me to jump. My little dream is to have a gallery where I can sell my prints, talk to people about my photos and continue taking photos. It is amazing what happens when you really strip everything away and listen to what your heart is telling you.

Listening to your heart.

A 360-days musing…….

It is exceedingly difficult to listen to your heart when you are surrounded by distractions. When it comes to my photography, I have done a million courses. You know the ones. The ones that are free and if you stick around to the end you get a gift and are then sold a programme, or a course that is worth $5,997 but is going to be sold to you at the bargain-basement price of $297. You will also have a whole lot of extras thrown in and if you are silly enough to do the course and then question the value of it, the influencer, teacher, coach, guru, etc will start saying things like, "I value my time, I don’t work for free etc." In my experience, people who create this type of marketing funnel, tend to over-promise and under-deliver.

Don’t get me wrong – while I call myself a self-taught photographer, I have had countless good and bad influences and teachers. Even the bad teachers have taught me good things. Like knowing that I would never treat someone the way that some can treat others. Regardless of my bad experiences though, I can generally say I have learned something from every person who has crossed my little freelancer path. But I lately in my efforts to fine-tune my craft, I had so many things going on. I had you-tube channels, FB groups, eBooks, monthly courses to name a few things and I was just getting lost. Should I pursue travel photography, wedding photography, maternity photography or editorial photography? I literally had no idea and felt this amazing overwhelming sense of fatigue. I was also getting increasingly dispirited by the whole process.

Recently I found a photographer I love. A man called Chris Orwig. He talks about capturing things that make you happy. Of photography being all about writing with the light. Of letting the world become silent when you see through the eyes of a camera. He talks about the goal of art, in this case, photography, being the creative process of discovery, experimentation, and fun. He talks about seeing light and creating visual poetry. He spoke to me (yes to me, as he is now a member of my imaginary secret best friend society that also includes Leonard Cohen, Michelle & Barack Obama, Emily Bronte, and Lara Croft), in a way that no-one else ever has. He also did not talk about being a 7-figure entrepreneur or reminded all around him repeatedly of how much his inflated hourly rate is worth.

He spoke to me of magic and of simplicity and he reminded me to listen to my heart. Subsequently, I stripped back everything and just focused on what I love about taking photos. I love capturing our lives for Archie and Rissie. I love the solitude of the early mornings when I take photos. I love the idea of capturing beauty and chasing light. I realised I simply wanted to take photos and sell my prints. That is what makes me happy.

I had so many voices in my head that I was lost in this convoluted madness of a million different personalities all screaming about what I ‘should’ be doing, talking about money, success, fame and mega-salaries. But none of that is important to me. I have enough money to live in a way that is comfortable for the kids and me, so why is any more important? What I wanted to focus on was doing what made me happy, in a way that I could be proud of while earning enough of an income to support our lives. I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders knowing what I really want to do.

But it took stripping back everything and quietening my brain before I could finally listen to my heart.

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