Inspiration from a Local Photography Exhibition, Carol Evans, Field Trip

Inspiration can come in all shapes and sizes and often least when you expect it.

I have a real passion for photography. I can see a beautifully stunning picture in my eye, but I don’t yet have the technical prowess required to capture it. So, I enrolled on a local college course driven by the desire to be able to create a thing of beauty, a thing of interest. I have a passion for learning and a passion for stepping out of my comfort zone and becoming the student. (I am one of those really awful students though… always interrupting… always asking questions….overly enthusiastic….!!)

Over the weekend my fellow photography students and I gathered together for a field trip to visit a local exhibition. I can’t say I was enraptured by the thought, but it was a beautiful sunny day and I knew they’d be chance to get practical with our cameras and take the next challenge.


To say I was truly blown away would be a real understatement.

And, as I am always focused on business, I couldn’t help but take the inspiration I found here, at this small local exhibition, and apply it to my business world.

One of the most frustrating aspects I come across time and time again, whether that be with myself, my clients or amongst my networks, is the fear that holds us back. Stops us becoming who we are meant to be. Paralyses us in to in-action, so we never fully feel that sense of total fulfilment. Instead we wait. For more confidence. For the time to be right. For tomorrow. For when we’ve skilled up.  Ultimately we delay achieving what we know we are capable of .

So, back to the exhibition…

There was something about the confidence and purpose of the photographer – Diane Arbus – that totally caught my attention.

Known for her portraiture and most especially for capturing the true essence of those people living on the very fringe of society at that time. People who would most likely have been shunned by society at large. These images would have shocked the public. In fact, some of them would still have the power to shock today! They were vulnerable and raw.

To do this, Diane Arbus must have had the most amazing ability to build rapport, establish trust and develop a reputation. She must have been driven by a passion so strong and committed to giving these people a “voice” and most importantly, recognition of their existence, their place in the world and their value.

The images captured tell us so much about the people. A simple image that holds so many thoughts. To achieve this is a real testament to one woman understanding her purpose and following her passion confidently. She must have gone to such great lengths to get the results she wanted.

As with all successes, Diane Arbus gained momentum as she pushed herself out of her comfort zone and worked to become the person she was meant to be and in doing so, became a well established photographer.

“My favourite thing is to go where I’ve never been” Diane Arbus

Whilst I may never end up being able to create such engaging and interesting photography, I am totally inspired to really push through the “glass ceiling” I have imposed on myself and explore the very edges of my own purpose and passion. I’m both excited and fearful. But I know that the fear never goes away and I won’t let that stop me.

I’d like to take a moment to ask you to consider:

  • Are you playing small? Is your comfort zone providing a little too much ease?
  • Are you allowing your fears to hold you back from doing what you are meant to do?
  • Are you waiting for the right time?
  • Are you worrying about what others might think? might say?
  • Do you have a dream, ambitions, a desire, to do something but keep talking yourself out of it?

The purpose of life is to find our purpose and live it.

Expect problems, fears, challenges, failures. They are an integral part of everything we strive to do – at least anything worthwhile.

Don’t make the mistake of believing that successful people have overcome their fears. It’s simply a learned skill, just like all the others. Confidence grows when you take action, it doesn’t just suddenly appear one day out of the blue!

When Diane Arbus started to develop an interest in photographing people, she didn’t just stop people in the street and ask to take their picture. She hid in doorways and took her early shots from a distance. Each step she took gave her more confidence to push boundaries, leading her to achieve what she did.

Your mission and legacy to the world is what is most important. You can achieve your dreams. You can create a plan. You can set goals. Then, you simply adopt the behaviours and habits necessary and take consistent action.

Take a look around and see what inspires you. When you take notice you’ll start to develop your creativity muscles which most definitely contributes to your business success.

Image taken during my field trip, as images in the gallery were not allowed