I truly believe, to inspire someone to action is an extraordinary act. Some are born with it. Some never are able to quite attain it.
Nevertheless, there is something special about it. You are giving someone something extremely valuable without spending a dime or exerting much energy. In fact, most inspiring people will never know that they actually did inspire someone at all!
Now, ever since I was introduced to the idea in a blog by Chase Jarvis a few months ago, I’ve been a little negative about “inspiration” – favoring pure creativity because of a personal choice in my own life: I want to be creatively honest, having my ideas be MY ideas. (Ironically enough, the idea of this whole concept coming from someone else. 😉 )
My iPad contains thousand upon thousands of images already in the short time that I’ve owned it. But close to a thousand of those images are not mine. They are there because I greatly respect the photographers that took them, their talent and their ability to inspire me.
However, they are not there as a cheatsheet. I only very rarely pull them out because I’m having a bad/dry day or whatever and use it for ideas like that.
The sort of inspiration is more or less a strong desire to become better than you currently are. To live with a higher purpose than yourself.
Photographers the likes of Joe McNally, Steve McCurry, Stephen Alvarez, Travis Dove, Zach Arias, David Tejada, Dave Hobby, the guys at Luceo and MJR… some of the greats of our time, of course. Personal friends of mine like Philip Holsinger or my mentor Jeff Montgomery.
And what’s so incredible is that I am inspired not by the images that they make – though as incredible as they are – I am inspired by the way they live their lives, deciding to live above the norm and not settle for an okay or a good life… but a great life.
Yeah, and then that’s not even introducing the “significant other” into the mix. Which, if you are blessed enough to have one that inspires you every single day you are with ’em… and you only hope that you are half as inspiring to them as they are to you… you better hang on to them! I kid you not, that’s what it’s all about, my friend.
But all in all, I’m not here on this kick to be hard on looking at other people’s masterpieces to glean some sort of idea. Absolutely! In fact, its an integral part of the learning process. I show my photography class photos all the time – how else will they know what makes a great image?
Its the inspiration to live where inspiration really shines. Your mentors, the masters of your chosen field, the people you love: inspired to live.
Because that’s what its all about.
PS: One of Joe’s ballerinas.