These days I spend a fair amount of time in my room alone talking to a camera. And…I love it! I really do. Creating video content is so much fun and always a creative challenge for me. Last week I found myself in Los Angeles passing through between jobs, so I visited my friend Devin Schiro.
On a whim while we were out to breakfast, I asked him if he would create a video with me – a creative challenge, I pitched.
One video, one photo.
He happily agreed, cancelled his appointments for the day, and we got to work.
I met Devin when he attended a workshop of mine 6 years ago. I came to love his style of filmmaking and we have collaborated many times since then, like on this most recent underwater video last year. Not to mention we became lovely friends (as you’ll see quite plainly).
These are the 3 reasons why I think creative challenges are so impactful:
- It brings out your YOUiest you. When you are creating against someone, you are forced to think about how you can make the challenge into something that fits your style, and that allows your content to stand out. Immediately when we started our photo challenge, I looked at the fireplace. BINGO. I can fit in that fireplace, and he can’t. That’s what my brain said immediately, because I started to think in terms of who I really am artistically and what gives me an edge.
- It lets you learn new skills. All day long Devin taught me so much about video, from the best settings on my camera, good microphones to use, ways to keep the camera still while moving, and lots of editing tips and tricks. It felt so good to be a student! And I like to think I helped him with a few things, too.
- It takes the pressure off. You might think it would be the opposite when competing against someone, but for me, it really does take the pressure away. Yes, I wanted to make something nice. But the atmosphere was much more about learning, growing, and spending time creating than anything else. At the end of the day Devin thanked me for making him create for himself. That’s the spirit, truly.
What should have been an hour long project filming this video turned into a 12 hour day. I kid you not. We filmed and created and laughed from 10:30am until 10:30pm.
It’s a long one (13mins) but a really good one. I can’t watch it without bursting out laughing. Especially the bathtub stuff.
Giving yourself a creative challenge – or better yet, teaming up with someone for a challenge – is a beautiful experience. When I first started photography I joined a challenge group on Flickr. That’s how I met one of my closest friends Christine, who I met in person for the first time when she came to my first gallery opening. You just never know.
In case you don’t have someone readily available for these types of creative days, I want to create a safe space to share.
If you’re up for it (and maybe even if you’re not, hint hint) I invite you to participate in the creative challenge that Devin and I did!
Photo Challenge: Create using the color RED.
Film Challenge: Create using the theme FEAR.
If you’re looking for a good resource to challenge yourself creatively, my dearest friend Lindsay Adler (with whom I frequently challenge myself creatively) has a book called Creative52. I adore it, and you will too if you’re looking to be challenged.
Please feel welcome to post your images and/or videos in the comments. I’d love to see some inspiration flood in this week and I know others will appreciate seeing what you have to offer as well.
P.S. Devin, thank you for having a very heavy hand in editing my video. I learned so much from you and I know I will continue to learn from your unique way of seeing the world. Thank you for sharing. I hope the whole world gets to see your talent someday.
P.P.S. I’m going on VACATION, y’all! I can’t believe it! I’m going to Hawaii on a trip with my sister for a week. That means there won’t be a new Monday video next week because I’m trying to take a proper holiday. So, I’ll be back the week after with new content and goodies!