June 26, 2012

The Art of Throwing Up

In high school, I had a track coach that told me that if I wasn't throwing up after a workout, then I wasn't pushing myself to new performance levels...needless to say...I had a few times during the season where I got to live the art of pushing yourself beyond your limits...I freaking HATED it...but by golly..he was right!

As a photographer, I find that the same can be applied to my ambitions of becoming a better photographer...when a photographic opportunity comes my way that exceeds my self-imposed-own-worst-enemy view of my talent, my initial reaction is to decline!

But then the words of my sadistic track coach spring to life and I find myself staring square-eyed at the devil-inside and run Forest Gump style at the opportunity...and EVERY SINGLE TIME while I'm working that shoot....yup... I feel like throwing up...I'm scared as hell, and I wonder what the heck!

But when it's over and the results are viewed on the screen and I get ready to publish, I realize I've grown...I have pushed myself beyond a self-imposed limit and reached a new level...

Thank you coach!

A post called "Above the 45" from one of my favorite photographers, David duChemin, on this very topic and that inspired my thoughts and remembrances in this post...

And if you want to read a FABULOUS book on staring down your own devil-inside, get "The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle" by Steven Pressfield.

Until next time: Love Yourself, Love Your Neighbor, and Stay Unique

Michael P. Young

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