I’ve been working recently on a short-term contract as account manager in a large photographic studio. I’d never worked in an environment like this before and it’s taught me some very interesting things.
When I first walked round the studio floor and watched models wearing jewellery being photographed next to a dining furniture set, next to barbecues complete with grilled burgers, next to fully decorated Christmas trees, I was amazed. Huge lights all over the place, cameras, iMacs, cables snaking all over the place, art directors, photographers and stylists swarming over multiple sets, music playing loudly, set-builders hammering and painting. Organised chaos!
But the resulting photographs are great. You would never in a million years know that the beautifully decorated dining table you’re admiring online and thinking you might buy was shot not on location in some edgy urban loft but in a tiny corner of the studio, with walls formed of two large painted boards set at right angles, into one of which is set an empty window frame, behind which there’s a transparent sheet, behind which there’s a tall lamp which simulates natural daylight coming through the window.
The photograph is the end result of the fusion of creative imagination, technical skill, and focus (in both the photographic and human sense!).
The people on that set were able to filter out the noise and chaos all around them to create that little photographic oasis.
And I realised life can be like that if we have the discipline.
Almost all of us live in varying states of chaos, with competing demands, unexpected events, days too short to fit in all those fascinating things we want to do and see.
We feel pulled in too many directions at once, perhaps especially as we grow older and realise there’s a decreasing amount of time for every delicious thing we’d like to do.
What I’ve been trying to do is focus on one thing at a time. Give it my full attention. Let everything else around me go to pot, just for the time being.
The thing is, it’s a bit like meditation. There will be times when outside thoughts intrude. You remember you’ve got to pick up the dry cleaning, pay the bills, do the grocery shopping. Notice those thoughts and let them go past.
It’s a great way to bring your life into focus and enjoy the journey.
What tips do you have for creating little pools of focus in a busy life?
Photo credit: emi yanez