What can a year can teach you?

365 days....that's lot of time to grow, change and learn.

The turn of a new year is always time for self reflection. 2016 for me was 12 months of such a dramatic change in me as a person and as a creative artist. No longer just a photographer but in everyday life now as a manager, a team leader, a creative force and a mentor. How do I do that? How do I become that person?

Questions still remain unanswered, some things cleared, others remain blurred, muddled and still to explore. The next year is going to be amazing if I learn half as much as I did the previous year.

I learnt for the first time in my life my words meant more than my photos. What I said held more weight than my actions. The phrases I use mean more than the visuals I create. As a creative artist and photographer that is a big thing to learn.

I learnt that I am easily inspired. But as much as inspiration is easy to find but it's harder to bottle, pass on or use as a motivational tool for others. How do you inspire someone? What inspires you?

I learnt that there is no such thing as a comfort zone. There are no boundaries. Challenge is good, change is hard and people are unpredictable.

I learnt the most important lesson of all. I learnt I need to get back to photography. Get back to the camera in hand, sheer joy of shooting. Less paperwork, push away distractions and work with more creative people. Control what I can control, the things that I am good at and run towards it.

This photo sums up the year nicely for me. Shanghai China - On a night out with people I hardly know, who barely speak my language, somewhere I've never been and couldn't be further from what I know but enjoying it all the same. That is 2016 to me...the time where there is no such thing as a comfort zone. This year has been a constant challenge, a steep learning curve and one of considerable change. However it is here where amazing, exciting and lovely moments have happened amongst the usual chaos. Let's see what's next, hopefully it will be filled with fun, laughter and more new experiences.

All the very best for the new year everyone!!!!

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Andrew James - Cheshire & Manchester based Commercial Product, Fashion and Wedding Photographer

© 2020 by Andrew James Hargraves.