Bringing Ideas to Life
Around a year ago, I was writing ideas down in my notebook. While listening to a song by Imagine Dragons, I liked a lyric they used, "Round and round, I'm not going to change my mind until you show me what's this life worth living for." It stood out to me, so I did what I usually do and jotted it down on a page in my notebook. No matter how small the quote or idea, I dedicate a whole page for the concept to grow and evolve. This makes it easier for me to further explore this idea and helps give me the ability to really shape a concept, from the meanings behind it, sketching it out, to describing what I want to see in the final image. For over a year, this small quote sat there.
From time to time, I go through my notebook and brainstorm new ideas and follow up on past ones. There have been a bunch of times where I'll write an idea down, and not revisit it for months, but it's better to have written it down than forgetting it all together. Every idea doesn't always immediately take shape when I'm sketching out ideas. A lot of the time I see the idea in my mind and everything takes shape pretty smoothly, but there are concepts that need their time to soak in your creative juices before "Ah-Ha!" lightbulb moment happens in your head.
I started collecting all my concepts, ideas, and little quotes of inspirational materials early on when I was in school. A teacher of mine asked if anyone in class kept a photo note book for ideas. No one raised their hand. I didn't know why I had never thought of making one before. Such an amazing and simple idea to keep a record of everything. Since having that class, I've kept notes down on almost everything when it comes to my photography.
In the beginning, I wasn't too organized with my ideas. I'd just blot down bullet points of a few phrases and fill pages with loads of content. I realized this made me lose focus on looking at one idea at a time. Coupled with the fact that I would only give myself a few lines of text to write out on, I needed to find an easier way to keep all my concepts in one place. I soon bought a brand new notebook and started a new system to recording all this information now and it's really been the smartest thing I could've ever done.
Most of the time when I'm out, I don't usually carry my notebook on me if I don't have a backpack or any camera gear with me, unless I'm going to a walk or hike somewhere to clear my mind and take the time to write out some new ideas down. When I'm without my notebook, I write my concepts or quotes down in the Notes app on my phone. Every few weeks or once a month, I'll go through the notes on my phones and write everything into my notebook, making sure to dedicate each idea to it's own page. If I'm planning a series, I'll always add two or three more just incase and so I have everything for the project all in one place.
It's always a great feeling to go back in my notes and see the concepts I've written compared to how they were executed, especially when I've sketched out the ideas beforehand. It's a great way to see how the work evolved from the page to real life. It's also a good way to look back on concepts that haven't worked out. You can look over and revisit the idea to help produce something twice as wonderful. Just think of the first attempt as the practice shoot.