I have had a few favourite places and I’ve spoken about them before. I used to say that the Qantas lounge was one of my favourite places because it meant that I was almost home. It meant that I could have a glass of wine and call a favourite person or read a good book or just soak in the time alone and reflect on the very busy week that was.
My favourite place these days is not a physical location but rather a place that I go within myself, or rather the space that allows me to go there.
I’ve recently been able to pick up my camera again and it’s reminded me just how much I love being behind the lens. It’s a place that just brings me peace. I think that’s because it allows me to completely shut off everything else. Particularly when I’m setting up a styled shot – it takes quite a bit of effort and concentration to get all of the pieces of the shot placed just right. Composition is such an important factor in photography and it’s often not done well. I think that some of it is instinct. I can decide to do a shoot and have an idea of what I want to do but very often the actual idea only coalesces into something real as I start to find all the pieces and pull them together.
I usually have an item that I want to feature but after that, it’s purely on-the-spot inspiration that brings the rest of the concept together. Is that bad planning? That doesn’t sound like me 😂, I think it’s just how I create. I consider myself “a creative” but it’s not always something I can switch on.
I often set up these shots on a Sunday afternoon. Every Sunday morning, I take Gidget to the park, we stop off at a cafe or bakery and get coffee, we sometimes go to the pet store or a florist, just little things like that. When I get back home, if I know I want to set up a shoot, I will potter about, sometimes write something, sometimes edit photos, I set up the week ahead in my planner. While I’m doing these things, I think the idea for the shoot is swirling around in my brain. So when I commit to setting it up, my brain knows what to do, even if I don’t. And the pieces just come together.
I sometimes wish everything could end up being so easy to bring together.
My job at the moment is almost overwhelming with the amount of work to be done. And it’s incredibly analytical work at times. I have three fairly distinct parts to my work life – first is people management, which while challenging, is also very rewarding and I very much enjoy it. The second part is creating new marketing campaigns, from planning out the concept through to design and execution. Much of that is a creative process, particularly the first parts. The last part of my work life is heavily entrenched in data – preparing spreadsheets of data for reporting, analyzing sales figures, and calculating price points being the most common things that I’m doing.
I enjoy all of these different parts, but they don’t necessarily go together easily. They use completely different skill sets and sometimes, you just can’t engage the one you need in the moment, especially if the deadlines are tight, or if you are already in a different mode.
I’ve worked out that mornings are a time when I’m more creative and I’d love to be able to spend every morning on that creative side of my job. But mornings are when there are people around me, asking questions, needing advice, requesting data, wanting to have a chat. And I enjoy that. I love talking to people, engaging, helping, organizing.
In the afternoon, I can usually switch to analytical mode pretty easily. That’s when I’m the spreadsheet queen, able to pull reports and analyze data and organize all the numbers.
But these days, I’m tired. It’s harder to engage the creative side in the morning, especially with all the distractions. And in the afternoon, I’m struggling with exhaustion. I usually manage to get a second wind by about 4pm which means I’m in the zone til around 7. It makes for very long days. And the old brain stays active long into the night, which makes dropping off to sleep difficult.
Even now, it’s 5:30am and I’m writing this on my phone. I woke up at about 4:30 and tried to go back to sleep but it just wouldn’t happen so I started scrolling through WordPress and found this prompt. I’ll probably hit a wall at about 10am now which is far too early to hit a wall. But it is what is it right now and I’ll manage with coffees.
One more favourite place. And again not a place, but favourite people. There are people in my life who I just love to be around and whatever place that we are, that’s my favourite place. There are a few people who just get me, who I can be totally honest with, who I feel completely comfortable with and sometimes that is exactly where I need to be. That place becomes my favourite place. I think that when we’re tired or stressed or not feeling well, we can crave time with those people and I cherish those moments when I can spend time with them.
I’ve just read through this post some 20 hours later and I’m still awake. I didn’t edit it all really. I just wrote and wrote and it’s kind of all over the place. I guess that’s what you get at 5 in the morning. But it’s me and it’s honest and it’s how I feel.
But to recap – favourite places: behind the camera, and hanging out with close friends. Can you relate to that? Do ya feel me?