All images Copyright Audrey R. Smith 2012.
Written September 18, 2006:
Recently I have found myself becoming stressed. You know what I am talking about—the kind of stress that takes over your life whether it is related to work, relationships, family, finances, or whatever. It’s the kind of stress that makes you forget what you started out to do, the passion that still burns deep inside you that can only be fed by getting out with the camera and fueling that fire. Sometimes we forget where we started. I know I have. Life takes over, and before you know it, six months have passed and you still have not advanced toward those goals you set for yourself the year before.
Just as an example of how far off-course I’ve gotten, let me tell you it took me almost eighteen months to make a trip to South Florida to photograph American crocodiles, a trip that is only four hours from my house. Now, granted, I did have to make sure my trip would coincide with croc activity, so that lets out all cooler months for this tropical animal. Something always came up. Either lack of finances, busy at work, short-handed in staffing. Always something.
I finally snapped out of this funk just a few days before this writing, and let me tell you, it is a great feeling to remember what my goal is. While I’m at work talking to people, working out schedules, leading nature trips or finding someone to do it for me, running the day-to-day operations in my department, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget where I started. I will credit several photographic magazines for keeping those fires stoked, so that they don’t burn out completely. I will also credit a few friends who don’t accept my excuses for not meeting the goals I have set for myself and putting off what needs to be done. This mostly means going back to finish the degree I started eight years ago. Wow. It’s been a long time coming.
Today, December 12, 2012:
Since this original writing, I have completed my degree, an Associate of Science in Photographic Technology, back in 2009 at Daytona State College, formerly Daytona Beach Community College, at the Southeast Museum of Photographic Studies. It began there in August 1998, and ended there in May 2009. No matter what life brings your way, remember to finish what you start when it comes to your own career. I currently have several “unfinished” projects, but I consider them works-in-progress. The rest of the post is still applicable. The shoot which resulted in the images above helped awaken creative juices long-dehydrated. It broke me out of my rut: I got a new subject, and a cooperative one at that, with fantastic colors! It gave me a new perspective, in more ways than one!