Or who have you encouraged ? Both sides of the coin can help us to move forward. I have been thinking about the subject of encouragement after reading this blog post by Jaspal Jandu yesterday.
When I was in London a couple of weeks ago, shooting city number 7 in my “12 City Project” I hit a bit of a slump. The photos were not flowing as I would have liked, my expired Polaroid film was behaving in a very erratic manner and I was starting to question the wisdom of the whole project. Maybe I should just abandon it all. Or slow it down and take a break from it for a few months. I just couldn’t settle into a satisfactory working mode and nothing caught my eye to make an appealing shot. Once you start to slip into that mindset it is hard to pull out again. ( Also, I know from experience that whenever I set out to “take some great photos” it absolutely never happens. I know that, for me, I just have to set out on the assignment and let it unfold without “trying ” – that is when the magical stuff happens.)
Anyway, I picked myself up and did keep on walking. Along the Thames and past the Oxo Tower. I’d noticed an exhibition setting up earlier in the week which was now open. Going in, I discovered that the panoramic photographs displayed had been taken by Jaspal Jandu. Over a period of four years he self funded his mammoth project to take panoramic landscape photographs all over the world. I caught the tail end of a talk he was giving to some photographers and what he had to say was very inspiring. ( A lot of what he said is covered in this interview on www.uklandscape.net )
Suddenly my little one year project seemed very manageable ancd I felt encouraged to ride out this little blip and keep going at the rhythm I had planned – 5 more cities over the next 5 months.
The subject of “Encouragement” also reminded me of a post a while ago on Christine Kane’s blog . You can never predict who might encourage you or when you might encourage someone else. A couple of years ago I met a girl who I went to primary school with. She recognised me ( ! ) and then asked to introduce me to her children. And it turns out that she had told her children about something I had done at primary school to encourage them !
Who has encouraged you ? Do you know that you have encouraged someone else ? I’d love to hear your story.
Also, if you’ve been along to see the exhibition, thank you so much for coming. It has been great chatting to visitors and hearing their reactions to our work. If you are in Edinburgh it continues until Sunday – please come and say hello.