I looked back at a bunch of my old photography yesterday, work you can find here and here and in all of my old facebook profile pictures, and felt a twinge of longing for days gone by. I invested so much time over my senior year of high school and early semesters of college into creative and challenging photoshoots, most of all self-portraits. And I loved every second of it. I would spend hours scouring Flickr, favorite fashion magazines and photographer’s portfolios trying to come up with new ideas and things to try. My ever changing hair color/style just added to my desire to be even more creative in my self-portrait ventures. Day after day I would take my tripod and camera out to the field behind my house, the streets beside the college campus we lived near, and any other location I could get to and thought would be worth shooting at and I would take photo after photo, setting the self-timer and running to position because for most of my shoots I didn’t have a remote. I was the stylist, the creative director, the photographer and the model. Almost nothing seemed too challenging. Almost everything seemed worth trying. It was an exceptionally exciting time of my life. I was able to have almost complete focus on everything creative. I had time upon time to put towards research and application and my creative process flourished under the dedication. But then life got busier, I grew older and other things became more important than spending hours alone shooting self-portraits. I began to want to accomplish shoot ideas faster and faster so they didn’t take up as much time and more and more my ideas dwindled to mostly the occasional self-portrait beauty shot. I’m not sorry. I love my life and the things that take up my attention and focus these days. But there is still that creative part of me that longs for projects and challenges. Right now when I take portraits of myself I take them quickly while the baby sleeps, I don’t do the clothes, makeup and hair that I used to because it would take up too much time and my location is limited to my apartment that is consistently in life’s motion with garbage needing to go out, lists and house projects on the table, clothes hanging to dry and less than perfect lighting. Nowhere near the ideal shooting location that I would search for years ago.However, though I’m not shooting like I did in the old days, I am assured by the fact that I am still being creative. Creative with meal planning, making a house a home, playing with my son and encouraging him to grow and learn, to just name a few. It’s a different kind of creative, because it’s just not feasible to put the same amount of time into my old kind of creative. I am realizing, as I’ve had more aches in my heart to invest in creativity like I once did, that there is no use wishing for opportunities past to come around again, because things have changed. For the better. Much better. And it is my challenge now to learn how to incorporate creativity into my life as it is. Because there are always opportunities, new ones, different ones. And it is my goal to recognize them and interact with them. I will always feel the desire to create, especially through photography, and even though things are different now in so many ways, I remind myself that we have a past to grow from and things will never stay the same, so why not appreciate the changes and search for the creative prospects in the now, because even if it’s different, it’s worth it.