Honouring Your Creative Vision

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

Samantha and I have written extensively on the oopoomoo blog about honouring your creative vision. To be an artist you need to follow your muse especially when outside forces always seem to want to sabotage your progress. For example, my output in photography was directed for years by the need to produce saleable images for stock photography. I shot things I normally would not be interested in and I learned how to make images which would please photo buyers. Once stock photography started to dry up (post 9-11), then money was to be made in providing tours and workshops to other photographers. The imagery I created was meant to entice participants to sign up for desirable destinations or to learn technique driven processes. My own development as an artist suffered. And so the time has come to allow my creative vision free reign of expression.

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Samantha Chrysanthou

Samantha and I have taken the pressure off ourselves to produce work for others. We are not shooting for stock nor are we shooting to gather potential tour or workshop clients. Sam never really pursued these things anyway. Instead, we’re returning to photography purely as a creative outlet. Of course, giving up our successful and acclaimed workshop program means we have cut our income by about 1/3rd. But that is a small price to pay to go on a path of self-discovery. To finance our journey we have cut expenses and gotten part time jobs outside the world of photography. Our jobs are what we do to support ourselves as artists. We have decided to purposefully walk the pathway of creativity and see where it takes us. For too long we have been teaching others to do this but we haven’t done it ourselves. You’ll see oopoomoo stay true to its roots of create, inspire and educate through us sharing both our journey and, increasingly, the journeys of others – in fact, we make this adjustment in order to focus more clearly on this important aspect of photo sharing and story-telling. We have a great desire to help photographers be artists. And we welcome all creatives to share their discoveries and stories here on the oopomoo blog or in our oopoomoo Facebook group. Stay tuned!

To read part II of this post, Carving Out Time for Creativity, please go to this link.

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

About the Author

I am a Canadian landscape and outdoor photographer who loves long hikes in the woods, yummy food, hairy dogs, good company and a good guitar jam.

33 Comments

  1. Julie
    November 10, 2015

    I applaud you both!! Makes me feel a lot better about photography. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Michael
    November 10, 2015

    Brave souls …. best wishes and regards!

    Reply
  3. John James
    November 10, 2015

    Hey you guys,
    I have been a follower of yours for years…I am delighted to be able to share your focus on yourselves as creative artists (which you both have always been) but…. there is always a butt, I hope your creativity will be aimed more at the camera and its usage rather than extensive post photo production. No limits of course, but another but, wherever you go, I hope to be able to see/experience the quality and integrity I feel you both have brought to the camera/photography and the joys of life.
    Sincerely, Stay well and have Fun,
    John

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      November 11, 2015

      Hi John, our creativity will definitely be focused on in-camera capture of our ideas, like you see in this post. We are not extensive post-production type artists. And we want to do projects that do good in the world rather than the competitive, consumptive, copycat work that the internet has a tendency to stimulate.

  4. Ron
    November 10, 2015

    Good luck in the pursuit of your creative roots. I look forward to seeing the results of this undertaking.

    Reply
  5. Doug Finch
    November 10, 2015

    I have subscribed to your Feed, how do I receive a copy of your Born Free ebook?
    Doug

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      November 11, 2015

      To get Born Creative you need to subscribe to our newletter, not just the blog feed. Hope that helps.

  6. Sarah Marino
    November 10, 2015

    Your messages on this topic have always been inspirational and motivating for me. I wish you the best on your creative journeys and look forward to seeing where this path will take the two of you.

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      November 11, 2015

      Thanks Sarah, your own journey has been an inspiration to us… it is time for us to follow our own teachings.

  7. sue
    November 10, 2015

    You are both a breath of fresh air and I cannot wait to see where you creativity takes you. Thank you for sharing. This will inspire other photographers to discover who they are as well.

    Reply
  8. Allison George
    November 10, 2015

    Creativity is contagious. Pass it on

    Reply
  9. Marty Prentice
    November 10, 2015

    Darwin & Sam: I can only admire your decisions – with some envy. Marty

    Reply
  10. Audrey Drake
    November 10, 2015

    Bravo! All the very, very best to you both. It is indeed liberating to follow our own muses. And I will continue to follow you.

    Reply
  11. Gary Tozer
    November 10, 2015

    I wish you both the best and please do not drop off the radar and give up this blog. I really want to see the work progression of two great artists of such diverse talent.
    Good Luck and you can count on my support.

    Reply
  12. Richard Wong
    November 11, 2015

    Best of luck, Darwin and Samantha. I’ve always admired your work and will continue to do so. Focusing on pure creativity free of commercial interests will surely lead to interesting paths in life.

    Reply
  13. Jim Goldstein
    November 11, 2015

    You’re not alone. I look forward to seeing your future work, writing and analysis of how this change helps you. Best of luck to both of you Darwin and Samantha. Make the most of it.

    Reply
  14. Jens
    November 11, 2015

    Great blog post. I’m just curious, why did stock photography dry up after 9-11? Is it because it resulted in a decrease in tourism and as a result there was no longer the demand for travel or landscape images? I think digital photography, being able to easily upload images to the internet and everyone having a camera phone also contributed to the decline of stock photography.

    I really like the first image in this blog post, the contrast between the dark trees and the sunlight on the mountain. A tricky exposure, but the new digital cameras have such an amazing dynamic range, combined with adjustments in Lightroom, allows a photographer to take a beautiful and creative photo like this one.

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      November 12, 2015

      9-11 was the first death knell for stock photography. In a crisis people stop advertising and so sales went down. When confidence went up and people started looking for images again they found royalty free stock, micro stock, free images on the internet (in exchange for ‘exposure’0 or had their art directors buy digital cameras and make the images themselves. Thanks for the comment about the first pic, it is one I really like as well.

  15. Chris Greenwood
    November 11, 2015

    I wish you and Samantha all the best in your new path; It really takes guts to follow your own vision! That first image is beautiful and really highlights the difference between photography as art, and the “f16 and wait for a sunset”, please the masses, type of shot (if you know what I mean!).

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      November 12, 2015

      Thanks Chris, your comments mean a lot to us. I am really attracted to the overlooked scenes even in glory light and so was happy with that first shot.

  16. Peter Carroll
    November 12, 2015

    Bravo! (and as Jim said you’re not alone).

    Without getting into the subtext of the Polonius speech, Shakespeare, who had a way with words, nailed an import life lesson in only nine…

    “This above all; to thine own self be true.”

    Reply
  17. Tom
    November 12, 2015

    First of all let me start by saying that I love the images in this blog post – all four of them! To me, they are all calming and yet still have a lot of impact. I could definitely see these on a wall somewhere and more importantly I don’t think I would tire of looking at them day after day.
    I’ve probably mentioned this before but you guys are a huge inspiration to me and I applaud you both!
    Now, I sell some of my images for stock but I’ve never shot anything deliberately for stock. Everything I shoot I do because it makes me happy and even if I shoot a grand landscape in dramatic light I do it for me because I like those types of images. Of course I’m happy if someone else also likes my images, but I shoot for myself first and everything on top of that is a bonus.
    I don’t know if it’s because I got into stock late (way past 9/11) or if it’s because I don’t shoot “stock” images but I don’t make very much money at it anyway. If I had to live off of it I would have literally starved to death years ago. 🙂 I do sell some prints every now and then and would like to expand that a bit more. I also want to make some submissions to magazines again. Hopefully I’ll have more luck with my newer images.

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      November 13, 2015

      Tom, Thanks for the nice comments and we have always been inspired by your work as well. Your creative vision shows in your images and we know you are shooting from the heart. Just keep on doing pure personal photography, if you do it will resonate with an audience and you will have fans who want to purchase your work.

  18. Connie Quinton
    November 12, 2015

    That is very brave of you and Samantha. That fist picture is awesome and mesmerizing. It has me thinking and probably will have people talking. Thank you for helping the rest of us. I wish you two all the best!

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      November 13, 2015

      Thanks Connie, we are both pumped to be doing our own personal photography again!

  19. Fred Dunn
    November 13, 2015

    Best of success to you both. The two workshops I did with you are highlights of my photographic journey. Suffering through a week of -35F for Bubbles and Lace was tough but the pictures that came from it were worth it. I can’t get the words Mergies and Pokies out of my head as I look through the viewfinder – that’s a good thing! Keep up the good work and inspiration.

    Reply
  20. Michel Bury
    November 14, 2015

    Very inspiring post, Darwin and Sam. I praise your courage to follow your own creative path.

    Reply
  21. Olaf Bathke
    November 15, 2015

    Sometimes we have to loose something in order to find it (back). I wish you all the best.
    Olaf

    Reply
  22. Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images
    November 30, 2015

    Late to comment here, Darwin, but felt it important to chime in. I personally feel a close connection to what you are making the choice to pursue here, and wish you all the very best. I too have felt the strain of choosing to parse the path of photography as work or as a personal fun and creative outlet. There is much more happiness to be found in the pursuit of the personal expression. And interestingly – about 4 weeks ago while sitting in the vet office, I entertained the thought of how more personally satisfying working at the Humane Society where we adopted our cat, cleaning cages and caring for the animals would bring me more personal satisfaction than keeping on with the constant push of making and marketing stuff that doesn’t bring that same personal fulfillment. I totally wish you and Samantha the very best, and I love the creative images that you’ve shared with this post, especially the branch in water.

    Cheers!
    – Gary.

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      December 2, 2015

      Thanks Gary! My job at the humane society is really rewarding especially seeing animals in rough shape get back to health and get some basic training to be a adoptable and successfully getting integrated into a family home.

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