The more we do our work and make art,
the stronger it grows.
The first night of my street photography workshop in Hong Kong. We are sitting in a circle on large, comfortable cushions in a warm, cozy room softly lit by candles. Five amazing, incredibly talented women street photographers. The moment they can ask me anything. Share anything. Be themselves, as women and photographers. I love those first nights. Connection. Hearts and souls opening wide.
"How do you happen to be at the right place at the right time?" Asks Chiara from Bologna. "I'm always afraid I will miss the moment. I'm afraid I will never make another great, or even good photograph."
The others silently nod. Yes. They have been there. I have been there too. That's why we're here tonight. I'm just a few steps ahead of them. Doubt. Fear. Worries. Shitty photographs. Check. Been there, done it, got the t-shirt.
"You have to believe in Divine Serendipity," I tell them. "You're madly in love with street photography because there are stories only you are meant to tell. You have to believe there's something greater than you guiding your steps. Street photography is more than just walking the streets with your camera, it's a mystical creative process. No matter what you call it - Muse, Universe, Creative Force, Spirit, God - you have to believe that this loving source of inspiration is there for you. You just need to be open and willing to listen.
Before I walk out with my camera, I always say a little prayer: 'Please help me see what I'm meant to see. Thank you.' And I walk out confidently, with joy and curiosity in my heart, trusting that there are stories out there that I'm meant to become a part of and share with the world.
Those days you get nothing? Those days your photographs suck? Those amazing moments you missed because someone walked in the frame, you were not quick enough, or the light was bad? Those were not your stories. Those were someone else's stories, or simply stories that were not meant to be photographed. And that's fine. Let them go. You can never miss a shot or lose a story if it's meant to be yours."
I look around the room and I feel the energy shift. They smile, they feel relieved. Still sitting on cushions in our sacred circle, we hold hands and close our eyes. Three deep breaths in and out. We're in this together, and this is where we're meant to be. This is how we're meant to show up for our creative work.
The beginning of a new way to walk the world and capture its essence. The foundation of creative freedom. Intuitively and naturally, we all share this deep knowing that there is always more to come, that the source of inspiration is infinitely abundant, and the more we do our work and make art, the stronger it grows. We're never alone. We have each other, and the wise, loving Goddess of Photography who is always there: guiding our steps with the power of Divine Serendipity.