I just returned from my weekly Wednesday swim in the sea. I’ve been doing this all through winter. It’s the best feeling, though my friends think I’m mad.
What’s madder is I’m kind of scared of the ocean, especially being out of my depth. But I make myself face that fear and push into slightly deeper water and the rewards far outweigh it.
Pushing yourself to go deeper is the biggest challenge any artist faces. (And yes, if you’re a good photographer you are an artist.)
The deeper you go with your work, the deeper you go within yourself. It’s pretty hard to separate ‘you’ from your art.
That can be confronting too.
It’s easy to shoot shallow, meaningless ‘personal’ work that you think your clients want to see. It avoids confronting who you are and that can be a can of worms. But it also stops you growing.
Its easy to stay where you are and be safe, but you can get bored and disillusioned and lose your passion.
The real success starts with looking at, and challenging yourself to go that little bit deeper.
There is nothing more invigorating than leaping into freezing cold white frothy waves with the wind howling, the rain spitting, and the occasional burst of sunshine through black clouds. Plus the glowy warm feeling when I get out is like nothing else.
Going deeper can push you to places you never thought you’d be able to reach, like my wonderful client Sara Orme, who shot this gorgeous image of me near my favourite beach, and is always, always going deeper and further in her amazing career, art and life.
As David Bowie said,
‘Always go a little further into the water than you feel capable of, and when you don’t feel your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.’