I think that we have an innate desire to put our stamp on things, whether that is as a person, as an artist, or something else. In my years of teaching photography, I’ve never once conducted a workshop in which no one asked how to build a recognizable style. I’ve asked myself that question plenty of times.

It is a beautiful thing to look at someone’s work and know, without looking at the name, who made it. Those are my favorite artists. Their essence is in their art. It feels like a natural shine.

As an artist, I have thought about this topic for years. What makes someone stand out as being original? What makes someone’s work recognizable? What makes mine?

Here’s the truest answer. More true than any technique in Photoshop or lens choice.

It is the way my mind works. The way my brain functions. The way I see the world. The way I create in this world.

If you don’t like that answer, you’re not going to find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a certain technique to set you apart, stop.

Yes, they help tremendously. Yes, they can make you stand out. Yes, they are the medium that us visual artists exist in.

BUT, and I believe this firmly, there isn’t a successful artist out there who doesn’t have their art in their bones.

If you gave your favorite artist a guitar instead of a camera, it’s very likely that their original music would match their original images.

What we want our art to look like is in us from the beginning. From Day 0.

My art is not just what it looks like or feels like. It is the culmination of who I am – visually, emotionally, experiences and reactions and decisions combined. It is my expression of myself.

That is not to say that finding a style is instant. Why? Because we hardly know ourselves. The more we understand who we are, the more fluidly our style can evolve.

At least that’s what I believe. And I really, really believe it.

There are certain visual ways that my style has evolved. I used to create very monochromatic images, almost always indoors. I shifted from that to incorporating more color in my wardrobe and visiting new locations outdoors. I then started to get into more complicated composites, more detailed sets, more props. I evolved. And I am evolving.

If I had to choose 3 visual cues to my signature style, I would say:

Square Format
Yellow highlights/blue shadows
Painterly

There are more:

Feminine
Dark
Cinematic

It’s hard to define a style with just a few words, and not entirely productive, either. We shouldn’t feel trapped by a style, but able and willing to move in and out of it.

I used to fear my style. I felt stuck in it. But now I recognize that my style is mine because that is what naturally comes out of me. No matter what I pursue, it will be mine.

I hope you enjoy this video detailing how I found my style and a few different tricks in the editing room to achieve a polish to my work.

How do you describe your style?
How do you hope to evolve?

  • June 11, 2018 - 7:00 am

    ganesh - This is great!ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 7:24 am

    Cheryl Clegg - Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
    My style? A very hard question to answer. The best I can say is it is eclectic, but I always try to evoke emotion. The days of film I spent many hours in the darkroom, trying to make things painterly. Then came digital and the learning curve continues and is endless and new everyday as well as exciting.
    Your work is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 8:37 am

    Angela Seidemann - Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 9:36 am

    Gallagher Green - Great video, and probably the best explanation you can get for explaining signature style. Like you said, it’s not easy to explain.
    I just create what I like, and hope that a signature evolves out of it, since I know I can’t force it.
    “How do you describe your style?”
    I don’t know if this is my style, but I would like to think it is:
    Surreal.
    Inspiring.
    Dark.

    How do you hope to evolve?
    Thought provoking.
    More engaging.
    Maybe a little happier. Right now everything really leans to the darker side for some reason.

    This is a great subject I will have to bring this up in the next PPC Skype chat.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 11:14 am

    Cheryl Clegg - Thank you for sharing and for the constant inspiration!
    My style is eclectic, but always my main goal is to evoke emotion.
    In business for decades (I’m now one of those old timers, I guess), I have gone from trying to create painterly prints in the darkroom to moving my darkroom onto the monitor and learning everyday. Not all of my work is artsy, sometimes I am in a more documentary mood. What do I want people to when looking at my work? I want people to stop and look at the photo, not just scroll through, and feel the emotion.
    Your work is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 11:15 am

    adbrucephotos - This was awesome, as always! Monday have become my favorites again 🙂
    How do you describe your style?
    I am not sure if people look at my work and think “Anna Bruce” but in all of my work I like to incorporate these feelings: Moody, dramatic, warm tones, edgy, dreamlike. I have certainly tried to experiment with cool tones and blues and it always makes me freak out. I like warm tones – perhaps because I like warm weather? Because people don’t look dead or frozen? I don’t know. Ironically, in other artists’ work, I am drawn to blue tones (as you know from the piece I purchased). Very interesting.
    How do you hope to evolve?
    I will let time decide for me. As I learn new things, grow or change in life my style will evolve. I know that moody, dark and dramatic will be words that will remain with me for a lifetime – I have been pretty consistent in creating works that evoke those three. Thank you Brooke! <3ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 1:44 pm

    Suellen - You have articulated style perfectly, it’s definitely what’s inside you and that is so hard to explain to anyone. When people ask you what I do I get stuck trying to explain as it is bound up with my style rather thane technique (as you explained it)…finding the words makes me stumble.
    My style is quirky, whimsical, mysterious, inviting. How I hope to evolve? I want to make images that have something more to say…I’m not sure what I have to say, want to say…I like making images that make make-believe, believable, but I want to include more message somehow, at the moment I am exploring being alone but not lonely.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2018 - 2:52 pm

    Michael Harbour - Thank you for your beautiful work!
    Can you tell me about your monitor/workstation?
    It is huge. It is touch screen! I’m curious!!ReplyCancel

  • June 13, 2018 - 7:40 am

    Cindee - Wonderful video of a difficult to describe subject.
    I found my style when I found my business name “Kymerical imagery” which is defined
    Kymerical: existing only as the product of an unchecked imagination.
    imagery: the art of making images.
    I recently wrote a paper for my business class where I described my style as
    Phantasmagorical with an etherial quality. Yes, I was using the thesaurus. I enjoy making images that would suit a children’s book, princess party, my granddaughters imagination come to life. She is the fairy in my images. I get lost in space and time while creating these images, it’s the same way I feel when creating a new dress for Emma. That’s how I know I have found my style, I love creating it.
    There is still a lot of distilling (evolving) that needs to take place but I am on the right track. I hope to reach the point where I know the colors as Brooke does and am able to consistently produce work that says that was done by Kymerical imagery.
    Oh and I don’t put my name on my real name on my work because I spent 25 years as a prison guard and don’t want to make it easy for any of them to find me. Just in case.

    phantasmagorical: having a fantastic or deceptive appearance, as something in a dream or created by the imagination.
    having the appearance of an optical illusion, especially one produced by a magic lantern.
    changing or shifting, as a scene made up of many elements.ReplyCancel

Last May I thought I had finished writing a novel. I wrote 80,000 words, sent it off to my friend Ksenia who edited it for me, and what I received back was a lot of red and feedback that I hadn’t properly written a book…just a summary of a book. And man, was she spot on.

That launched me into the most splendid year ever.

I have always valued books and writing above most other things, but truth be told, I wasn’t a reader. I had read books, and I’d read a couple a year, but I wasn’t really a reader. That was the problem with my writing. If I learned how to be a better reader, I could learn how to be a better writer.

So, when June rolled around, I started reading. A lot. And I can proudly say that in the past year, I have developed a routine, a habit, of making time for reading.

In the past year, I managed to finish 41 books.

That is really huge. I know it might not seem like a big number to some of you, and it might seem massive to others. That doesn’t matter. It’s not a contest.

What I did was dedicate myself fully to a practice that I knew would get me closer to my dreams.

One year and 41 books later, I am closer. That much closer.

Here is what I learned from my first year of dedicated reading:

  1. You learn as much from bad books as you do good books. It is very valuable to ask why something doesn’t work for you and to incorporate that knowledge into what informs your craft.
  2. The value of story structure should not be overlooked. I’ve studied and practiced seeing and writing story structure (mostly a traditional 3 act) and now I see it everywhere. When I sit with my husband to watch a movie we discuss it. I see it in TV and sometimes even video games. A story without structure usually just doesn’t deliver.
  3. Outlining is my jam. I pantsed (wrote on the fly) the first draft of my book. By the end, I had a mess of partial conflicts that never got resolved, and mostly, no conflicts at all. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the outline for my 2nd draft. I’m a planner, always have been, probably always will be. No shame in that!
  4. I’ve been given permission to use poetic language in my book. That was something I shied away from a bit because I thought that wasn’t how it is done. But now that I’ve read all sorts of books and really paid attention, I know that having your own unique writing style is exactly what counts for artistic flair.
  5. I love first-person POV. I never thought I would, but “The Fifth Season” and “Red Rising” changed my mind. I’m a convert…though I don’t think my first book will utilize that.
  6. My love of dark imagery is sustained in books as well as visual arts. Any book that can poetically describe something sad is everything to me.
  7. The more specific the character, the more I love the character.
  8. If a character has very clear desires, I as a reader desire that thing as well. When the desires are unclear, I don’t want anything out of the book.
  9. Anything is possible to write, as long as it 1) makes sense within the world, and 2) moves the story forward.
  10. I’m becoming a better reader! I’ve always considered myself a slow reader. However, and I should have seen this coming, reading is like anything else. It is a muscle, it takes practice. I used to only be able to hold my attention long enough to get through 15 minutes of reading at a time. Now I can get through hours. I read smarter, faster, and I enjoy myself more.
  11. Books have replaced my phone. Well, not entirely. But, where I used to keep my phone by my side, I’ve actively replaced it with a book. Now, when I have the urge to waste time on my phone, I read in those micro-moments instead.
  12. My writing will be heavily influenced by imagery. My first draft wasn’t at all image-tastic. Which is inherently weird for a visual artist. But, now that I see how great authors weave visuals into every sentence of their books, I know how to do the same. I’ve got some awesome visuals planned for my novel!
  13. I am very serious about writing. I knew I wanted to be a writing, but now that I’ve dedicated myself to this craft in such a big way (it’s no easy task reading that many books in a year while running a full-time business), I’m more in it than ever before.
  14. The best books are the ones that make me wish I lived in their worlds. I want to make a world like that, too. They are blossoming inside my head.
  15. At best, protagonists are your best friends. At worst, they are acquaintances. At best, antagonists are tragically wounded friends. At worst, they are pure evil. Note: I love the antagonist in my book!

For those asking, my book is shaping up to be Fantasy, and maybe Young Adult. I was originally going to only do one, but it is looking like it needs a sequel or a trilogy. I’m already excited for the expanded horizons I will offer.

Here’s my really, really rough pitch so far: Twins are born into a world on the brink of death. Separate, their powers could destroy everyone in existence, but together, they could save the Tree of Life and all of Her children.

It’s a massive work in progress, and I feel no pressure to go faster. I am taking my time with this, letting my passion seep into every crevice before I start writing out each chapter. Until then, I’ll continue going on early morning hikes with my Love to discuss new details, writing my outline, and enjoying new books.

Here is a list of all the books I read this past year. I’ve put in bold my absolute top recommendations. If they are part of a trilogy, I only highlighted the first. The one that is bold and red is my favorite of the whole list.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and which are your favorites!
Also, tell me your favorite book!
Extra points for fantasy or science fiction!

“The Graveyard Book” by Niel Gaiman
“Myst: Book of Atrus” by Rand and Robyn Miller
“Myst: Book of Ti’ana” Rand Miller
“American Gods” by Niel Gaiman
“Myst: Book of D’ni” by Rand Miller
“Story” by Robert McKee
“Sabriel” by Garth Nix
“The Story Grid” by Shawn Coyne
“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
“Lirael” by Garth Nix
“Abhorsen” by Garth Nix
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K. Rowling
“Good Omens” by Terry Prachett & Niel Gaiman
“Structuring Your Novel” by K.M. Wieland
“Outlining Your Novel” by K.M. Wieland
“Everworld, Volume 1” by K.A. Applegate
“The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin
“The Lost Years of Merlin” by T.A. Barron
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
“The Obelisk Gate” by N.K. Jemisin
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
“The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami
“Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri
“From Here to Eternity” by Caitlin Doherty
“The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ” by Philip Pullman
“Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick
“Many Waters” by Madeleine L’Engle
“The Martian” by Andy Weir
“Pawn of Prophesy” by David Eddings
“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelly
“Down Among the Sticks and Bones” by Seanan McGuire
“Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson
“Mistborn: The Well of Ascension” by Brandon Sanderson
“Mistborn: The Hero of Ages” by Brandon Sanderson
“Red Rising” by Pierce Brown
“The Three-Body Problem” by Cixin Liu
“Golden Son” by Pierce Brown

Excuse me while I go devour Morning Star.

  • June 6, 2018 - 8:00 pm

    Gallagher Green - I told you “The Three-Body Problem” was great! 😀 The next two in the trilogy just get better!
    I have read “Frankenstein” which I liked, I just finished “The Hobbit” which I loved. I am sorry to say I read “The Fifth Season” and couldn’t get myself to read the next two in the trilogy, I just didn’t like it at all, sorry. 🙁
    I have now started “The Lord of the Rings” which I really like so far.
    I also listened to the audiobook (free on Librivox) of “Mathilda” by Mary Shelley, it is very poetically written and dark(ish). I liked it much more than I had planned on.
    I also recommend the book “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King, it’s much different from most of his work, I think you would like it.

    I am still working on the first draft of my novel, but I did write a children’s book that I now need to illustrate, once I learn how to draw! LOL
    I also decided to write a quick short story (to try and make a little money on 😉 ), but it is suddenly getting kinda long, and the other night I was typing along and “Bang!” two new characters just popped into the storyline. It surprised me, it was like the story was writing itself, and my fingers were just there, I think my brain left for a coffee break! (it can be a slacker)
    Writing has become very important to me. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2018 - 2:56 am

    Sam - My book recommendations:
    The Fey series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    For me the Fey had been the by far best planned and written fantasy world.

    And for fun: “Illegal Aliens” by Phil Foglio and Nick Polotta
    Science fiction, but I just love Phils humor!

    And now I’ll be off, looking for “Fifth Season” 🙂ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2018 - 6:43 am

    Addie - yay, this makes me happy…. Im a huge reader and my favorite genre is YA fantasy… 🙂
    here are some of my favorites
    – The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss,
    – Monster Blood Tattoo – DM Cornish (this one is a bit complicated as it almost has its own language, but its so worth it!)
    – The Onion Girl – Charles De Lint
    – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Catherynne M Valente

    those are just a start and looking at the list, I realize they are all part of a series, so if you like one, then you can continue the story… maybe one day we can sit down over tea or hot chocolate and discuss our favorites!ReplyCancel

  • June 24, 2018 - 9:00 pm

    Chantel Schmitt - Try Wool by Hugh Howey. I can’t remember when I first read it. Had to have been around 2012 or so. There are also two more in the series…one a prequel. I’ll have to re-read Wool before I start on the others though because it’s been so long.ReplyCancel

My friends, I struggle a lot with sharing technical information. Not because I want to keep it a secret, but because I prefer the focus be put on creativity over tools, on imagination over technology. However, I also love Love LOVE to share as much as I can with others, technical or otherwise, so that we can all be elevated.

This week I answered a swelling call I’ve been receiving to go into a little more depth about editing. This video is a juicy ten minutes of Photoshop explanation, philosophy, and the editing of a new image.

When I started photography I also started using Photoshop. I didn’t have a background in it, and to be honest, it scared the daylights out of me. I am not a technical person. I do not learn quickly or easily. I get intimidated and frustrated as easily as cake. But I knew that if I wanted to see my visions come to life, that was what I had to do. So I did.

I am self taught in Photoshop with the aid of my husband for the extra-technical bits.

This is how I believe I was able to teach myself Photoshop:

I only researched exactly what I needed. I never went to workshops or watched classes because that was information overload for me. Instead, I put an image in Photoshop. Then, I decided the one most important thing that the image needed, and I searched for that one tool. Little by little I was able to learn Photoshop, and here I am today.

If you are just starting out – with anything – remember to take small steps. They add up to a sum greater than we think possible. Nothing is beyond our reach. I have to believe that because my life is based on it. Little by little, our reach grows; we are expansive.

In the video you will see me use all of my favorite Photoshop tools, like curves, lasso, and feather. They will help me to…

Composite extra hands into my picture
Expand my frame
Add fog to the background
Change the light and color

…and more.

If you want to learn how I edit in depth, I encourage you to check out my online classes.

I get a lot of requests to put full-length editing tutorials online. While I totally understand the request, for now I’m pointing you to my online tutorials.

Why? Because I put months and months of my heart/soul/energy/time/money into them to make them as comprehensive and perfect as I could for you, and in turn, it allows me to be supported in my art. I thank you so much for buying them and showing me that my weird vision is worthwhile.

What is your favorite tool to create with?
How often do you actively seek to learn something new?

 

Model: Steph Perez

 

  • June 4, 2018 - 5:55 am

    maryjane ellison - Topaz Studio, although I make heavy use of Photoshop CC.

    Every day I struggle to learn new ways of doing things. I love to research and figure things out. I have always had an insatiable curiosity about the world around me, and will never give up learning. I think that’s why I’m still so active at 81 years!ReplyCancel

    • June 4, 2018 - 5:57 am

      brookeshaden - I love that you are learning new things! So many aren’t. I’ve never tried Topaz but I’ve always heard great things about it.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 6:03 am

    Mariëtte Aernoudts - My favourite tool in Photoshop are the masks which I work with with the brush.

    Once a
    Month I lool up something on PhotoshopReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 6:04 am

    Mariëtte Aernoudts - My favourite tool in Photoshop are the masks which I work with with the brush.

    Once a month I look up something on PhotoshopReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 6:19 am

    Jon Miller - WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TOOL TO CREATE WITH?
    Lightroom and Photoshop mainly

    HOW OFTEN DO YOU ACTIVELY SEEK TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW?
    Everyday, I do a lot of research (old habits don’t die because you change professions) I enjoy learning something new, rather it be in LR or PS or photography or even in life. Learning is the key to a fulfilled life and one never knows enough is the way I feel.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 7:05 am

    Kristey Fritz-Martin - Yay Monday!!!! Thank you so very much for this Brooke!! For me, I feel like I have the inspiration and ideas floating around in my head but completely lack the technical ability to make them come true which is beyond frustrating to me. It is such a tedious process and rather than sit being frustrated I tend to walk away, grab my camera and just go shoot some more dreaming of the day that I will make it all come together. In other words, editing is not my jam lol but I am finding it to be a necessary evil if I want to bring my creative vision to life. These tips and tricks are so inspiring and truly changing perspective and approaching it as a “blank canvas” where I can create is quite an inspiring revelation. I actually devote at least 30 minutes a day to focusing on trying to learn something new. Growth is such an incredibly important thing and knowledge truly is power. As far as “tools”, aside from my imagination, I really try to get things as close to correct in camera so that I can avoid PS Bwahaha. There in lays my issue because obviously a lot of what I want to create can not be made possible in camera. Oh. . . The struggle is real. But as always, I am now starting my week full of inspiration and possibilities thanks to you and your kindness and generosity in putting these Videos together. Thank you so much for being so absolutely incredible!!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 7:19 am

    Julie Oshiyama - I, too, use Topaz filters. My favorite set of filters from them is LensEffects. With all things digital, I am self-taught; camera, digital darkroom, etc. I have a film (black/white) degree from Pasadena City College, back when digital first hit the market. My portfolio work back then was experimental photography (Fine Art). I loved working with litho film, infrared, hand applied emulsions, etc. It was not easy for me to move from a true darkroom to a digital darkroom, but I did. I can easily say that I enjoy not having to worry about chemical exposure. But, Photoshop was like learning a whole new language for me. I continually stretch and educate myself with the many features PS has to offer. I’ve also purchased a couple of your CreativeLive courses. Recently, I completely watching your Promoting Passion series. I watched 10 episodes a day until I completed the series. I learned a great deal from you, Brooke, and wish I had been following that series back when you stared it. So, to your question, my fave PS tool would be masks. And, yes, I actively seek to learn something new every day. As an intervention teacher, I can only encourage my students to follow in love with learning if I am doing the same.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 9:13 am

    Wendy Baker - I’m trying to decide if my favorite tool in Photoshop is the clone stamp or the lasso tool. I use them both so much that I can’t decide 😉 I’ve been using Photoshop for almost 20 years, and like you, it has happened one step at a time. I look up (it used to be in the manual) and use only what I need for a project.

    My problem has been that I LOVE acquiring new skills a little too much. It was very hard to create a series when every time I finished an image I was on to the next thing to try. It has been really satisfying this year to settle myself down and stick with a concept and color scheme.

    We did the same road trip as you seven years ago. I loved it so much that I invited all my kids and grand kids to join us to experience it all again a couple years ago. Those memories will last all my life.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 10:00 am

    Gallagher Green - Great video. And for anyone wondering, her classes are well worth the money!
    The new PC looks like it is working out very well. 🙂
    The tools I use the most are:
    Lasso
    Brush with a layer mask
    Curves
    Undo, I use that one a lot! LOL
    I am always earning stuff or relearning stuff I forget how to do.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 10:59 am

    Anna D Bruce - This was such a valuable video! I love learning all about your process and how you create. Also, that Surface Pro studio looks amazing!!!! <3ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 12:06 pm

    Julie - My hands are my favourite tool, they write the notes, press the shutter and guide my battered Wacom pen around my screen in Adobe Photoshop!

    I aim for daily discoveries, even the smallest thing – a mayfly by the lake, a tutorial for creating headdresses or a new creative network connection. It helps me to keep moving forward.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 4:44 pm

    Vicki Kurasz - I spend way to much time re-researching how to do something. I usually forget a step and can’t get the darn thing to work the next time I want to do it! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • June 7, 2018 - 12:57 pm

      Cindee Still - Vicki, if it is something that you will do repeatedly make it into an action and then you don’t have to remember the steps. Watch Ben Willmore on Creative Live show you how to make actions. He is a fabulous teacher and you can watch the video over and over because you will own it.ReplyCancel

  • June 7, 2018 - 1:03 pm

    Cindee Still - My favorite tool to create with is my boundless imagination, along with PS layer masks. I seek to learn new skills on a daily basis. I am 56 yrs old working toward my degree in photography. I attend workshops with National Geographic and Creative Live in Seattle when ever I can. I watch tutorials on PHLEARN and F64 when I have a challenge in PS that I need help with. Oh yeh! I also watch Brookes videos and tutorials for inspiration and guidance. :}ReplyCancel

I was reflecting this week about pivotal points in my life, and each memory brought me back to the same four words: You Can’t Do That.

Those words have been spoken or written to me so many times, it must be fun for people to say.

When I made creepy films about death I was told I shouldn’t; when I made creepy photographs about death, I was told I can’t. But every time I did something that was weird and unfavorable, it brought me to a place of lush goodness. There must be a correlation between them.

Subconsciously, I began to associate things I shouldn’t do with happiness, prosperity. I started to believe that the more I did thing that upset some people, the opposite would also happen. Polarizing art means that people hate it and love it. And it is that love that drives my passion.

What an incredible tragedy that we are taught not to do certain things. Not to pursue certain careers, or make certain types of art. Not to waver from what we know, not to challenge who we could be.

We place too much confidence in other people – their opinions, their beliefs, their experiences – and not enough on our own. On what could be. On what we might make happen.

This week I’m taking that back. I’m claiming my passion for my own and my path for myself. I’m walking toward my passion with the confidence that if I can build it, I can live in it. If I can imagine it, I can make it.

My words for this topic are short because they are direct, sincere, and final. It’s simply time we took back what we rightfully own: our dreams.

Share two things with us:
1) What have you done despite being told not to?
2) Do you think you could be more bold in your life?

  • May 28, 2018 - 1:16 pm

    Geetha Slock - Hi Brooke,

    Short or not, this blogpost came at the rifht time for me. I’ve recently been finding myself caught up in other peoples advice and doubting myself because of it and realising that I should have more confidence in myself and my work. Though for now it’s mostly people telling me what I should do instead and they mean well, but I sometimes feel like it’s just not my way of doing things, my path to walk on. For example, some people tell me to pursue wedding photography because I’ll earn more money, or that I should not use my name when it comes to my self-portraiture because when looking at say my instagram name people won’t know what kind of work I create. They might think I’m a ‘normal’ photographer… So I think it’s time for me to become more bold, believe in my work and I might make mistakes, they might be right, but if that’s the case then that’s for me to figure out.
    Thank you for these words Brooke 🙂ReplyCancel

  • May 28, 2018 - 2:30 pm

    Julie - I’ve had a camera in tow as long as I can remember. When I decided to go to school for photography two significant things happened: One, I was interviewed by a well known Encino photographer who loved my work but told me that I was “too artsy”, but he could train me to shoot as he did. Two, my father told me I didn’t have thick enough skin to not fall apart if criticised, and it just wouldn’t pay the bills. As a result, two things happened: One, I promised myself that I would never shoot for someone else but always stay true to my authentic voice. Two, I decided to become an elementary school teacher and continue photography on the side. I don’t regret staying true to my voice, but I do regret not pursuing my photography dreams when I was younger, I was on a path to Art Center School of Design in Pasadena. I’ve since learned that the word ‘can’t’ can play a powerful role in one’s life. Today I say I can. I can pursue dreams even at my age, I can stay true to my artistic voice, and I can and will continue to work outside of the lines. Yes, I can be bolder, and every day I take the necessary steps to live boldly and creatively. Brooke, as for your postscript: 1. Miss Ives from Penny Dreadful (I know it’s not a book, but I love her character); 2. Ophelia for sure; 3. Snape from HP, he is so complex, and I’d love to know more about him; 4. Dracula by Bram Stoker; and 5 Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Again, thank you for putting out your messages. I often find myself revisiting your vlogs or youtube videos for a word of inspiration. Sometimes I wish I could search, ‘people like Brooke Shaden’ although I know there’s only one like you. Please don’t stop inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • May 29, 2018 - 5:39 am

    Robert Barford - Your post was extreme powerful and touched person chord within myself. I have been told many times that I can’t do something at times because it would not generate enough money. ‘Living’ in a corporate world for may years, I as well as others have been told that we can’t do “___” because of who someone was or how it would look. Yes, I do believe that I should and could become more bold, but also realize that I need to make that step, no one can do it for me.ReplyCancel

  • May 30, 2018 - 3:02 pm

    Gallagher Green - My internet has been out, so I am just catching up on everything.
    Were you by chance listing to A Fine Frenzy, “Riversong” when you took this photo? 😉 Maybe it is because that is one of my all-time favorite songs, but this photo is just stunning, I truly love it! <3

    This is a painting I did a while back, (my first painting) I finished by watering down black paint and painting it across the top. Everyone said "Why would you do that? You are ruining it." But to me, it is what made it. I didn't care what they said, I knew what it needed! https://www.facebook.com/GsCreativeArts/photos/a.1439796569468241.1073741828.1439394839508414/1664999956947900/?type=3&theater

    "DO YOU THINK YOU COULD BE MORE BOLD IN YOUR LIFE?" Yes! I am not very bold, I have a real problem with that. But I'm not really sure how to fix it. 🙁ReplyCancel

  • May 31, 2018 - 8:27 am

    Ted Sandilands - What I have done despite being told not to:
    At this stage of my life usually the one telling me not to do something is that old guy that hangs around in the mirror above my bathroom sink. Let’s just call him OG for short. OG is the one person in my life who has taken on the role to instill fear, uncertainty and doubt in my mind. He is very good using fear to control me and I listen far too often. What is odd about OG is that if I ignore his wishes and go ahead with my own foolhardy plan, he forgets he told me not to in the first place. He doesn’t reprimand me, he just moves on to the next, “Thou shalt not.”

    Could I be more bold:
    Of course. I think I am already very bold but exploration and learning is ongoing and just when I think I am out on the limb as far as possible, I find there is at least one more step I can take.

    I have one advantage over many of Brooke’s followers. I will turn 68 years old next week. Some time ago a little self analysis revealed this hidden gem. One gains wisdom in exchange for youth. While I might desire to regain my youth, particularly the large chunks of it I wasted, I am thankful for the wisdom I have gained. So it is like any business deal or trade or barter. And you know what, exchanging youth for wisdom I think is pretty fair deal.ReplyCancel

  • June 1, 2018 - 4:39 am

    Inge Snijders - I’m from a medical family, father, grand father and great grand father, brother and sister, are all doctors. In this family it is ‘normal’ to become a doctor. It is not normal to choose a different path. I studied medicine for 5 years, but i wasn’t happy at all. I wanted to talk to the people, listening to there stories. I didn’t want to be the one in the white coat, 10 minutes in the room, their physical problems, and then the next was in line. The medical world in my county was changing. Time management, money, costs…what i saw…was not in the best interest for the patients at all. It made me sad. During my shifts i often just sat by the bed of the patients, listening to their stories, while most of my colleagues where having their breaks. They told me not to. ‘Not to be so personal with them.’ Then i made the choice to follow the film academy. It wasn’t easy to tell my family. Sometimes now, often at silly times, when money runs out fast, or when i’m at a party and they ask me what i do for a living…. at these moments i feel a little lost. Did i do the right thing?
    But when i make an interview with someone, make a documentary or a portrait. I feel so blessed when i see them changing in front of my camera. Opening up and these beautiful stories are being told and shared. Then i don’t ‘know’ but i can ‘feel’ it, i made the right choice.
    Thank you Brooke, for who you are! You’re a great inspiration!!ReplyCancel

  • June 1, 2018 - 12:32 pm

    Robin - I’ve done a lot of things I was told “Not to Do.” I fell in love with Arizona and quit my corporate job in Virginia to make the move. I didn’t have a job to go to there, but did within a month of moving. I was told I couldn’t take a year after I retired and move temporarily to NYC because the city was too dangerous and it cost to much. I’m now in my tenth year there, with my primary home still in Arizona. I could go on and on. I used to be bold, but as I’ve aged I feel as if I’ve lost that. I want it back. I think what would be bold for me right now is self portraiture. Not selfies, but portraits that will reflect my aging process as I move into my late 60’s and early 70’s. (I still feel so young in my heart!) I don’t know anything about photography software other than Lightroom. So I’m not ready to delve into all the ways to manipulate a photograph, so I’m wondering if you can share some next steps in just basic self portraiture for those of us that can’t invest the time (or perhaps money) to learn that piece of it at the beginning. Would love to hear your thoughts. I just recently found your sight and you’ve already given me more inspiration than I’ve had in a long long time. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2018 - 6:16 am

    Jon Miller - 1) WHAT HAVE YOU DONE DESPITE BEING TOLD NOT TO?
    I left medical research in Colorado to become a photographer. I moved to Hollywood and did freelance photography for 20 years shooting celebrities, magazine editorials and PR campaigns and some advertising (catalogs) work, also became photo editor for 2 magazines and eventually left Hollywood to move to Australia where I am strictly doing photo art and yes, I’m enjoying my life.
    2) DO YOU THINK YOU COULD BE MORE BOLD IN YOUR LIFE?
    Could always be more bold and I probably need to do just that, I need to finish a book and get it out there no matter what and then I can concentrate on the other 3 books I have to do.ReplyCancel

For whatever reason, I have always been hesitant to talk about pain. I live in pain, but I’m not bothered by that and I never felt the need to bother anyone else with it, either. I’ve always been of the mindset that if I take care of myself, and I see the best parts of life, then I can manage day to day. This method is working splendidly for me.

I have Fibromyalgia, which is categorized as wide spread pain. Not very specific. For me, it manifests in joint pain akin to arthritis, chronic fatigue, and extreme body sensitivity. This means hugs hurt me (sadly). It means that I feel a lot more pain when I am touched than the average person would.

That’s just an overview, not a pity party. I don’t mind having Fibromyalgia too much. Some days it’s tougher than others, but I have a really annoyingly positive attitude about it and I don’t dwell on it. I have it easier than a lot of people.

My friends are often annoyed with me because I won’t talk about it or say when I’m not feeling well. How I’ve personally lived my life is to keep my pains to myself and deal with it by myself. I’m not saying this method is healthy; it is just what I’ve done.

So, talking about it openly doesn’t feel great. But, I had a few emails from people recently asking if I would talk about it, so I have. And, I created two images that represent how pain feels to me.

Here is how I deal with my pain and continue to be regularly productive:

1. I always get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. I don’t have kids so that’s point one. But nonetheless, I prioritize sleep like no one’s business. I usually go to sleep between 9-10pm, and wake up between 5-6am.

2. I eat a whole foods, plant based diet largely without sugar. That works well for me personally: I am not attempting to give nutrition advise.
(Speaking of…I’m about to go slice a fresh loaf of this bread that I’ll smear with avocado. My favorite breakfast!)

3. I see beauty in pain. I really do. It inspires me and I create from it often. I let my poses, my emotions be dictated by what pain feels like to me.

4. I carry light-weight equipment. This has made a HUGE impact in my life. My gear that helps me travel light is: Sony a7rii (mirrorless, full frame camera), 3 Legged Thing tripod (carbon fiber, folds really small), and a Microsoft Surface Pro (laptop under 3lbs!). I use roller bags where possible because I also have nerve damage in my back.

5. I have a gratitude practice.

6. I build downtime into my day. I know that I have energy and feel best in the mornings. I do not, unless it is absolutely necessary, work past 7pm. I let myself relax from that time until I go to sleep.

7. I exercise, lightly. I do yoga everyday and hike 2-3 times a week.

8. A common effect of Fibromyalgia is bad memory. I have it in abundance. I keep to do lists and charts to keep myself organized. This helps to get me excited about finishing a goal as well as keeps my brain straight!

I know that there are people living in pain far, far worse than mine. And there are people who have never lived in pain. No matter your experience, I hope this sheds some insight into working through adversity.

At the end of the day, I have a passion that cannot be silenced. I try not to let time get in the way of pursuing that dream. What I mean by that is this: It might take me longer than I think it should to get some tasks finished. I might need to rest and take care of my body before I can move on and conquer. I’m learning to be okay with that. Passion and dreams do not have an expiration date. Take your abilities one step at a time.

I created these two images based on how I feel in pain.

One, a ripping apart of the body, an explosion within.

The other, a sinking, suffocating feeling as time passes you by.

Maybe one of these images resonate with you. Maybe you know the feeling.

Let me know below.
I’d love to open the conversation so that we all feel that we can share our pain.

  • May 21, 2018 - 7:12 am

    Els Aartse - Dear Brooke, We posted our image at the same time so I noticed just a moment ago. That’s why I have read about you story of having to deal with your pain and to see your two beautiful images about how you experience that. I made my second image today of a knew series about the pain that comes from being in a narcissistic relationship. The pain for me is now gone but the wounds are still there. And therefor I make art and tell my story so I hopefully can make others see that because of your own pain you can learn from it and help and inspire others. Like you have so much inspired me dear brooke. Because you have helped me to make honest and vulnerable art. And I want to say thank you. Big hugs. I think one day we meet. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 7:17 am

    Jon Miller - Hi Brooke, I can relate regarding pain, 18 months ago I had an injury where I smashed both my feet and as a result I’ve had surgery 11 months later and live in constant pain from the nerve damage and a damaged vein vale (vein re-flux) which for some reason the surgeon wont fix as of today. I have since developed CRSP (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) my right foot which was damaged more is in a constant state of pain due to the swelling from the vein re-flux, nerves are constantly shooting in the foot, the toes and heel have no feeling. They have me on heavy drugs but they are doing nothing I get about 2-4 hours sleep if I’m lucky some nights I do not sleep at all. So to take my mind off of this I create images and send them to art shows and I struggle through shoots by sitting during the entire shoot, yes I’ve had to move my studio in my home. So instead of concentrating on the constant pain I try to block it from taking up a lot of my time by creating art.
    the images are on my website in the fine art area.ReplyCancel

    • May 21, 2018 - 9:05 am

      Gallagher Green - Do you have a link to your website? I would love to see your work.
      I love the way you are dealing with your pain by doing what you love, wonderful! <3ReplyCancel

      • May 21, 2018 - 6:41 pm

        Jon Miller - Gallagher Green – Some of the images are NSFW so please be aware if viewing from work.
        http://www.jLorenzo.com.au
        Go to Galleries click on either Fine art or Fine Art Nudes.ReplyCancel

        • May 21, 2018 - 7:34 pm

          Gallagher Green - Wonderful work Jon, I really love it! <3ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 7:23 am

    paulla kosta - Hi Brooke,
    Living with bipolar disorder from the age of 25 and hip dysplasia since I was born, I can totally resonate with you, your work. I go through pain a lot of times. I see beauty in pain too, can’t always explain why but I do. And try to express it in my work which is in a facebook blog: Autolove_Project. I received a very warming comment from you which I’ll never forget. Keep creating and inspiring.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Hug (very gentle one)

    PS: don’t know how to post a photo here so here’s the link
    https://www.facebook.com/201054117017129/photos/a.201073453681862.1073741827.201054117017129/441867876269084/?type=3&theaterReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 7:47 am

    Cindy V - I have a dear friend who has fibromyalgia, so I know what she deals with. I will try to be a little more gentle with my hugs but I know how much you love them so I will keep giving them. I hope they find a cure soon for this disease.
    Regarding Utah, OMG it is one of my all time favorite places. I have been to all those places. I tell people to just skip the Grand Canyon and go to Bryce. I love it and Zion, but the first time I visited Arches NP it actually brought tears to my eyes. I can think of no other landscape that is more magical that those found in Southern Utah. Perhaps a future location for PPC?ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 7:59 am

    Kristy Slicker - I can relate. I have suffered from fibro, scoliosis, and anxiety/panic for years. There are those who call me a “shut in” and give me a hard time because I do not venture out and associate like everyone else and there are those who understand. I love that you kind of accept and work with your condition, I guess maybe instead of fighting things like I always do, I should maybe relax and try to work with it as well – see what comes out of it.ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 8:33 am

    Lisa Blevins - I have been bed ridden nearly two yrs with pain .
    I have Lupus, Fibromyalgia , CRPS, and nerve damage
    in my hip and back . I just currently had a face biopsy because lupus is
    Currently attacking my salvia glands .
    My pain is so much there’s hardly a day that goes by
    I don’t cry due to the amount of pain I’m in .

    I want to say thank you so so much for sharing your story about your pain .
    You have inspired me and truly made me think about
    pushing through the pain and creating my own feelings through my art .

    The image of you covered by the clock is so true to how I feel and I’m sure many others who struggle daily .
    I’ve often shared my pain as if I were in a pool, my face just barely above water , while violently moving my arms to stay a float .

    I never dreamed pain would be such a huge part of my life .
    Bless You Brooke for touching my heart this morning and
    Giving me a wake up call . A call in which to use my pain and express it
    In my work . And never give up doing something I love so much .

    I have no doubt it was a God thing for me to come across your email
    this morning when I needed it most .

    Wow , you truly do have a beautiful
    Testimony that will be touching peoples lives . I hope you continue
    To talk about pain and create more images that show the anguish we suffer daily .ReplyCancel

    • May 21, 2018 - 9:12 am

      Gallagher Green - (Hug) <3ReplyCancel

    • May 21, 2018 - 6:28 pm

      Jon Miller - Lisa, I can relate with the daily intense pain that makes you cry, at 63 I thought it was impossible to make me cry, unfortunately I was fooled. With this nerve damaged foot flares up its like the foot is being shot at multiple times in a 30-45 second period, the pain is so intense it brings me to my knees in tears. The drugs I’m on does nothing for it so I know each night I have to go through this. I don’t sleep because of it and that starts taking affect on the mental state. I’m lucky in that all of this is covered by insurance 100% including psych counseling, but it means nothing when the pain starts up.
      All I can say is hang in there. They tell me I have 2-4 years to deal with this for complete recovery, at this time that seems like an eternity.ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 9:02 am

    MUKESH SINGH CHARAN - Your page so beautiful and my page is Awesome follow is my page @kr._mukesh_singh_charanReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 9:39 am

    Gallagher Green - I knew you suffered from fibromyalgia, but I didn’t know you had it at such a young age. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been.
    I don’t suffer from any ailments, but the second photo “a sinking, suffocating feeling as time passes you by.” this I really related to. There isn’t a day that goes by, where I don’t think that I’m not where I want to be, that I am stuck. But I have started I group on FB for posting what you are grateful for, and that has really helped.
    But just a few days ago I created a photo that fits this exactly, it is the idea that the demons inside us are our worst enemies. https://www.facebook.com/GsCreativeArts/photos/a.1439796569468241.1073741828.1439394839508414/1655559897891906/?type=3&theater
    Thia was a wonderful and personal post that I am sure was hard for you, thank you so much for sharing though. (Soft Hug)
    P.S.
    Maybe you already do, but you should eat lots of Turmeric. It helps muscle pain, joint pain, and memory. Plus a ton of other things! I think it could reincarnate the dead! LOLReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 10:05 am

    Jill Terry - I am another who has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, ME and CFS. I count myself lucky though as I didn’t start getting pain until I was 46 (62 now). While living in the UK I was just about housebound. Last year hubby and I moved to Fuerteventura and it has helped a bit in that I can now get out and about, albeit I still can’t walk very far. I definitely know what you mean about hugs! And have you noticed that men ALWAYS pat you on your shoulders, which sends a burning arrow of pain through you!!

    My creativity seems to come and go in bouts. I’m currently in a bout where I am not creating at all. My brain just can’t seem to get going and lack of confidence doesn’t help LOL! I am new to art and do struggle. Keep telling myself to do a bit each day!!!

    I have thought about using my pain in creating, but not yet tried it.

    You are an inspiration to us all Brooke. Thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 10:25 am

    Marianne Goodell - Hi. First off, a compliment on how you share so much of yourself, your craft, your skills, and your heart; I love that. Thank you. I’m learning so much from you.

    Secondly, I live in Utah and want to say your itinerary is great. If you end up near Salt Lake, hit any of the trails going up the canyons towards our ski resorts or head on up to the Uintah Mountains. It will be a completely different experience than what you’ll be seeing at all of the parks you’re visiting.

    I hope you have a fabulous trip and if you want company on a shoot or a hike if you’re near SLC, let me know. I’d love to play.

    Love,
    MarianneReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 10:41 am

    Claudia - Dear Brooke,
    Your story is really inspiring , as are your classes and photographs .. I think we all go through some kind of pain , be it physical or emotional.. . I am learning through my art to connect with it rather than avoid it, thus I used to do that. I am full of self doubt sometimes and feel as I could never be able to photograph as artistically as I wish..
    Therefore I lack the discipline to go out everyday and make some images.
    I m almost 60 and my energy is not up to the task sometimes. Some days, I just want to give up.. learning this about you is giving me strength to keep going and follow my passion and dream. I send you a painless virtual hug and thank you for your wonderful help , honesty and advice.ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 11:22 am

    Jane Tikkkuri - Dear Brooke,
    Thank you for telling your story about Fibromyalgia.
    I also have it along with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, and Osteoarthritis in my back and left knee. I also suffer with Anxiety from dealing with having multiple pain diseases. I really needed to hear your story after vending at a art show yesterday and the rain poured for three hours, it was windy and cold also. I sat there with my whole body aching wondering how I was going to get thru the next four hours. My hands were in pain from carrying and setting up my booth. My knee and back were throbbing in pain and my stomach in knots. Feeling scared and lost thinking is this it for me? Im I done pursuing my dream?
    These are all the things I feel whenever I purse my passion. The frustration from dealing with all the pain that goes along with having chronic pain diseases. The road blocks that are put in front of me because of what I deal with on a daily bases. I will go out for a shoot and I feel my passion burning inside of me and when it is done the awful pain comes on full force. Sometimes the passion can not over rule the pain and I feel it while I’m shooting.
    I know that there is a fire inside of me a little ember that sometimes wants to burn out and not come back. We all have that fire inside of us, its our choice to ignite it or let it burn out. I am to scared to let it burn out all the way because I fear it will be out for good. I can’t take that chance so when it turns into a ember (like at the art show) I look for inspiration from my peers and friends and I get that ember burning again!
    Thank You Brooke, for sharing a part of you that is very hard to share!ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2018 - 12:23 pm

    Anna - Hi Brooke, thank you for sharing your story. I resonate with the first image because it also feel like a creative burst and ties in really well with your statement, “I see beauty in pain. I really do. It inspires me and I create from it often.” Keep being you. We all need a place to create from and most of us create from some sort of pain (mine is from a place of fear and personal feelings about myself). Thank you for being an inspiration <3ReplyCancel

  • May 22, 2018 - 7:51 am

    Sara Helwe - Hey Brooke, I remember very well, a few years ago, when I was worried about you and asked about your health condition.So sorry to know you have to go through all that.
    I was diagnosed with Lupus two years ago after losing my baby when I was six months pregnant. We both have pretty much the same symptoms.
    I urge you to see a good doctor because there’s constant research about chronic diseases and I’m sure there’s medication to ease your pain. I’m feeling so much better in medication, but I prefer working from home because I’m an introvert too. Being an artist is a blessing to people like us!

    I love every signle piece that you do. You’re my artist idol. May God bless and protect you <3ReplyCancel

  • May 23, 2018 - 12:56 pm

    Erika - Thank you Brooke. Not so much time ago i has been diagnosed with Tinnitus (constant ringing in the ears), before that i was so passionate about photography, and now i just sit and cry. But your message gave me hope, maybe i will be able to create again through that psychological pain. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • May 24, 2018 - 12:03 am

    Vernon - Brooke, thank you for sharing this blog post. I never knew that you suffered so. It makes me think back to you workshop you gave in a college in London a few years back where you hugged everyone attending. Each hug gave you pain but you did it anyway with a smile and some kind words for us all. Thank youReplyCancel

  • May 24, 2018 - 6:59 pm

    Elijah Goodwin - Thanks Brooke! I’ve admired your imagery, your enthusiasm, your ability to teach, and your sci-fi/creative nerdiness (that’s a good thing) since I first saw you present on CreativeLIVE. I really appreciate you sharing this post and video. As a sufferer of chronic Lyme or post-Lyme syndrome (whatever you want to call it), I can identify with both your symptoms and the skepticism that can come from others and even unfortunately some members of the medical community. I was in the best shape of my life (and training for a 10K) when I came down with Lyme disease. The symptoms were sudden, dramatic, and scary. It started with double vision and tinnitus in the middle of teaching. By the next day I had numbness and tingling in all my limbs. I ended up in the ER several times because I kept passing out. It took seven weeks and seven doctors to get a definitive diagnosis and a doctor that was willing to treat aggressively. I’m grateful for the improvements that I’ve made since then, but I still have extreme fatigue, sleep disturbance, muscle fatigue, cognitive issues, periodic joint issues, trouble swallowing, sensitivity to vibration, cluster headaches, and periods of intense, deep, nonspecific pain (particularly when I overdo). I will talk to people about it when asked, but generally avoid talking about it or gloss over how I’m feeling. There are many days when I’m so fatigued it takes a conscious force of will to do every single little action I do throughout my day. My condition makes it nearly impossible to do any regular activity that can’t involve a flexible schedule at both micro and macro scales. I say all this, because I thank you for opening up about your pain, how it interacts with your art, and using your public persona to help others express their pain. And I hope others may identify with my story and feel inspired to share their pain, which too often goes unvoiced. I find that may pain inspires some of my more personal work. But more importantly my creative work is a salve for my pain and gives me the inspiration to keep pushing forward. Anyway, thanks for your continual inspiration and sharing.ReplyCancel

  • May 31, 2018 - 11:14 pm

    Jak - Hi Brooke

    I’ve been following your superb YouTube channel for a while now. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and insights – you are such an inspiration to me.

    I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Mast Cell Disease and M.E./CFS. I took up photography 5 years ago and like you do lots of selfies in my spare bedroom as and when my health allows and composite them into backgrounds https://bamimages.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/selfies/#jp-carousel-353

    I watched your Impostor syndrome video today which rang so many bells! My Dad constantly criticized me and even though I’m now 50 this has left me with feelings of never being good enough which I still fight. I do what I love and if others love it to that’s a bonus, and if not *I* still love it and that’s all that matters 🙂

    Your videos have helped me to become a better photographer – thank you for being you and daring to be different!

    Jak xReplyCancel