You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
I have been doing a lot of challenges since last year but for none of them I recorded a 100 day streak. This challenge made me break my own record for streaks.
How was this possible?
I struggled hard when I did 30 day blogging challenge. It used to take me a lot of time to think of a topic to write an article and then do the required research. There used to be days when I came back home after working for 14 hours and it used to be one of the most difficult times to sit down and write an article.
Photography wasn’t like that at all. It was easy. All I had to do is have a look at my surroundings and click what I find beautiful. There were definitely days when nothing I clicked came out as beautiful as I wanted them to be. But what mattered is me making it a habit.
How did it change my life?
One of my friends clicks awesome photographs. I always encouraged her saying “You should start your own website. You are so talented.” She simply brushed it off saying “Anyone can click photos.” I retorted that I don’t own a good phone like her. She simply replied that she clicked even when she didn’t have a great phone.
That was the moment I decided that even I will start clicking photos. That evening on my way home, I started clicking whatever I found beautiful. After clicking 30 odd photos, I noticed that a few of them looked really beautiful. Coincidentally, that evening my friend also clicked the same places I did. But hers looked better. That was when she introduced me to an editing tool and Instagram. There was no looking back since that day.
On the first day, I posted the photos as my Whatsapp status. My whatsapp started flooding with appreciation. One of my friends who is a photographer said that he was pleasantly surprised that I has this angle. That was a good compliment for me to start taking photography seriously.
I started bugging my friend, who inspired me to click photos, to review my photos. I forced her to be my mentor even though she was not ready for it. On the fourth day, she was sick. I enquired about her health and then shamelessly asked her to give her feedback on the photos I clicked. That was the moment, I realised that I crossed that line where it comes under bugging and no more of helping. But she put it in a mild way that I was being an over enthusiastic student.
Since I can’t travel to click pictures, I used to click during my commute. I had my favourite window seat in my office van. I used to be annoyed if I didn’t get that because I would miss out on clicking good pictures that day. I used to get weird stares from the people in my cab for my struggle to click pictures. One such day, I told my cab friend about my new hobby. She looked at my pictures and narrated a story on what good photography is. That one story changed the way I look at photography and I started to introduce life into the pictures.
Over time, I was running out of ideas. This gave me inspiration to go back to my routine of morning jog at the Marina beach. I started waking up without an alarm by 5:30 AM. I had something to look forward to every day. My day used to start on a brilliant note. I also clicked some of the best photos in the beach. The other joggers told me what are some ideal places to click photos on the beach.
With the consistency in posting, a lot of compliments flowed in different forms, shapes and depth. Each of them were different. Even though that gave me a lot of encouragement, I felt like a fake photographer who won’t be able to sustain it for long. In midst of all this insecurity, I got an offer to be a photographer from a friend which was totally unexpected. This drove me more insecure as I had no formal training or knowledge on photography. But at the same time, I was happy that someone could recognize the potential and it was time for me to build the skill.
As the days passed, a few friends who don’t really give compliments also started appreciating the photographs. That pumped up my confidence levels further. The most wonderful part was a friend saying that she looks forward to my pictures everyday. That made me push myself to click something different everyday.
I started visiting restaurants with good ambience to explore food photography. During one such instance, I was received really well by the store manager who offered me a discount on the food. Also, I had other visitors asking me for my website and to click their pictures.
Even though it has been 100 days, only in the past few weeks, I had clicked some of the photos which I felt were really close to my heart. Today, at the end of the 100 days, even though the appreciation kept me going, what matters more is I am happier than before. It gave me a new identity and a new confidence in life. It made me realize how beautiful the world around me is. Just adding a little bit of colour to the pictures brightened up my life. It was a stress buster during office hours to edit the photos I already clicked. It expanded my creativity to other areas of my life. I started cooking food creatively. Overall, it was an amazing and memorable experience to cherish for a lifetime.