It's common to feel the burn out coming. Waking up and not feeling inspired to create, to do something new. Feeling inadequate to your peers. As if it were high school all over again. Feeling like you're stuck in the same spot circling the same stuck-ness. I just made that word up.
Then, you get the opportunity to teach. To extend your knowledge, search through all of the files you've locked away, and teach some one something they've never known. And you get inspired. You see that you really do know how to use lighting. That you have dabbed in fashion and can teach it. Explain and see that in those bright eyed students, they are absorbing. And just like that, you see their photos. You see what they are creating, what inspires them. You see that you are making a difference in their lives. Photography may not be what my students pursue, however, if I have sparked one ounce of creativity, a pinch of curiosity in photography, then I have done my job.
Teaching has also taught me a few things. While we spent some time on street photography, learning about Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, and Vivian Maier, I realized that I was so busy directing and being in control of my subjects/clients that it had been a long time since I had practiced what I teach.
I grabbed my camera, headed downtown and at first, I was nervous and shy. Nervous that I had to photograph moments that were happening in front of me. With out taking control of the situation, the light, or the person. I had to use what was there. What was being given to me. I felt the way I did when I first started out, not knowing anything except for the burning desire to be a photographer.
I relit that fire on Tuesday.
I don't know which I like better: the color or black and white??