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Shoot More Creatively: A Four-step Process


Image ©Karen Carey

By Karen Carey

Conceptualize. When you start out with a concept, the results will be rewarding. Be adventurous and bold. Let the concept evolve and grow. Don't be afraid to take risks or to be vulnerable. Think it out, write it down, put yourself there. What do you want to say, show, reveal? What does it look like, feel like? What's the mood, texture, tone?

Materialize. Be prepared. With tools you already have, what can you develop? Don't just gather tools, be thoughtful; add tools as needed to grow. As you master a new skill or new technique, go out and play with it. Use it or lose it. Don't try to be an expert at everything. Know your areas of expertise and build on them.

Personalize. Be guided by your intuition. Recognize your strengths and capitalize on them. Use what is naturally yours. When you pay attention to yourself, you find out what your strengths are, and you become in tune with your divinity. Every person is naturally gifted with characteristics uniquely his or her own. Know your gifts. Know your weaknesses, but don't focus on them unless it’s to help bring a concept to life.

Release. Be inspired by the power of the divine spirit within. You’ve done the homework in the first three steps, now it’s time to turn it over to the universe and let the work come through you. Trust the plan to unfold perfectly with grace and divine timing.

The final results may look completely different from your initial concept, or exactly as planned. Either way, your satisfaction is guaranteed because you’ve become part of the process. Rather than taking what you can get, you become connected to the outcome. You begin to understand the power you have within to create your own destiny.

We’re always somewhere between where we’ve been and where we’re going. Start where you are and make a plan for where you want to go. Add the tools you need to get there, to bring yourself into the vision. Decide how and when to make it happen, then release it to the universe to bring it to life.

Look for our interview with Karen Carey in the October, 2011, issue of Professional Photographer. The September THRIVE Workshop, led by Karen Carey and Lena Hyde, has sold out, but you can get more information and sign up for the waiting list at See more of Karen Carey’s work at