Is there a ‘tortured artist’ in you?
This phrase refers to that ‘deeper something’ that’s dying to come out and be expressed.
If it never gets fully expressed, then it dies inside you, and that’s the torture, the frustration, the wondering of what could have been…
If we were to work together, there will automatically be a kind of torture going on for me.
It won’t be verbalised – but the torture is the relentless desire to create pictures that are meaningful and matter, because this is about going deeper into who you really are to create photos that speak beautifully to that special part of you that in life is already felt by the people who know you.
How to generate a response from them that says, wow, that’s so you, when they see your pictures….?
If I can do that, then the torture test has been passed.
It can be easy to be complacent, to do ‘another portrait shoot’ and to let that important, vital intention take a back seat.
But there will be a price to pay for that and it will be that tortured feeling, which is a dreadful state. Even just to have that tortured feeling once is enough to make me raise the bar and keep it there.
So I make sure I am very present, with you. By present I don’t just mean on the day we shoot, I also mean in the preparations we do where I get to understand what makes you tick.
This happens in the form of a conversation.
In preparation for this conversation, you’ll receive a set of questions to reflect on and answer in your own time.
This starts an internal dialogue between you, and you.
Then, I’ll review those answers, read your website material, watch any online videos you may have, and read some posts in your social media profiles. These are all pieces of your puzzle that help me get into your ‘vibe’.
This research phase can be trusted because it guides me towards the next questions to ask you in our conversation. Great conversations flow easily and will lead us naturally towards creating something great.
If you’re not willing to take the leap, to trust me, to jump to the unknown, to give it a go, to let go and see what happens, then yes, I do still experience torture because in spite of the trying, nay, willing you to let go and let me see you – and for whatever reason you just couldn’t do it – I still feel regret in the missed opportunity about what could have been…
That’s a bit much, isn’t it? For a set of ‘profile pics’?
Well, maybe, but why go shallow when you can go deep, particularly when the market is ready for something more?
Truth is, I’m in relentless pursuit of capturing you just-so.
Yamini Naidu, featured here, experienced this first-hand.
She said (with kindness) oh you’re a perfectionist. I said, no… it’s not about creating something perfect, because it will never be perfect.
It’s about creating a space where we can get the best result possible for you.
So perhaps to do the best you can, is enough, because perfectionism (something that can never be attained) will certainly make you tortured, and keep you there!
The time arrived for our deep-dive conversation.
Ahh Yamini, I adore Yamini. Let me first paint you a picture.
Yamini is a captivating powerhouse. She helps business leaders lead with influence by way of how they communicate through storytelling. One of her clients describes her as being one of the top three business storytellers in the world.
In other words, she walks the walk, she herself, delivers inspiration.
When Yamini answered the phone for our deep-dive conversation, she was jumping between cars, cafes and meetings in Sydney.
She thought we needed to tick a few boxes on where and when – the logistics.
You’ll see the irony here – I hadn’t been clear enough with Yamini that I needed her to be at her computer and to allow an hour for the exploration.
I hung up from this hurried conversation feeling frustrated (tortured) that I didn’t have the full sense of the Yamini-magic that I knew was lurking there. How then, was I going to be able to create something great? It wouldn’t be possible.
So she received another call, stating that I hadn’t clearly communicated that this deep-dive conversation was essential, not optional, to the piece.
We arranged another time to talk, and we each sat at our computers in our quiet spaces, unpacking her answers to questions she’d sent through to me and clicking through the internet for inspiration about what feeds Yamini.
This conversation is when we ‘gather the data’ about who you are. And we find certain aspects bubble to the surface that can’t be ignored. They will be about your vision, what lights you up, places you love and experiences you enjoy.
We sourced ideas from other thought leaders Yamini admires, we looked at photos and posing ideas, we workshopped possibilities for the location.
The conversation itself was the great enabler for me to get to know Yamini at a deeper level, and to feel a part of her world rather than just an observer.
Once this conversation was complete I felt light and happy. Tortured artist be gone.
Back on track. And we hadn’t even taken photos yet!
It fascinates me that when you get it right, when you do things that align with your deeper integrity, needs, preferred ways to do things – all with the intention to serve others – there’s a calm, quiet, gentleness. It’s the universe saying yesssssssss……..and dang it feels good.
If you want to work with me, the conversation step can’t be skipped.
With Yamini, the deeper thing that lights her up, and inspires her, is simply, the power of words.
This emerged and was captured in real time as she reached to gather a box in her hands, pull out individual cards, and read aloud the different poems, one by one.
She was completely transfixed and it was mesmerizing to watch.
Yamini was at ease and fully self-expressed in this setting. Her mood, clothing, postures, and movements…no sense of restraint or torture going on here at all for her. And I was fully self-expressed as the artist who seeks to capture this unique blend.
So what about you? Have you ever considered that no matter the line of work you’re in, you’re an artist with something important to create and offer the world? Do you ever let this important conversation slip by that leaves you feeling a little bit tortured?
To ensure you feel fully self-expressed and understood is to have that conversation with me. Let’s be brave and translate who you really are into photographs to share with your market.
And in doing so, ensure that you keep your tortured artist at bay.
These pictures of Yamini were taken in her favourite bookshop café The School of Life. We are very grateful to have been able to work in their gorgeous space.
‘Beth Jennings is a consummate professional with deep expertise, brilliant skills and the highest integrity. I had the pleasure of working with Beth on my most recent photographs. Every other time I have taken professional photographs I have always been disappointed and felt the photos were stilted, posed and not me.
This time with Beth I loved every photo and was hard pressed to choose because Beth captured me in ways that were authentic, natural yet professional. It is like nothing I have experienced before and explains the magic in her results. Very inspiring. It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with Beth, and cannot recommend her services highly enough.’
To start our conversation, click here.