The Greater Des Moines Botanical Center has been on my list to visit here in Des Moines for a while, so last week I spent an afternoon there, seeking personal time to myself and away from distractions so I could reflect on and evaluate some personal goals I’ve recently set for myself.
Since I’ve settled down a bit, I’m so thankful to have a steady, less chaotic life and I’m really enjoying the time getting to know myself again. For the longest time, I was balancing so much- I was (it never really fully goes away) learning how to functionally grieve over dad’s passing, trying to transition from ending a relationship and moving back to the Midwest, finishing my responsibilities with the flip house and trying to figure out my direction with my blog and business.
I firmly believe that when you own a business and you’re a creative, you have to have a brand that speaks for and represents you. But what if you’re not quite sure who you are yet- or in my case, I have a great grasp of who I am as a person but there’s still so much I’m learning about about myself creatively and my journey in life. For the longest time, I felt really pressured (not by anyone else necessarily- more like ‘I should have my shit together by now’ thoughts) to ‘have a brand’ and a vision and for everything to just be cohesive. But it’s honestly easier said than done (at least for me) and I recently decided to let go of these ridiculously structured timelines (type a’s- holla) I had set for myself and just live and photograph and document and get to know my work on a more personal level- something I don’t think I’ve done or felt since my days as a PAO.
Of course, in the meantime, I’ll still always be thinking about my brand identity, but I know once I take the time to do those things, my brand identity will come naturally after that.
I began my trip to the botanical center by journaling and working on some creative writing exercises (learned through this amazing online class) to help me hone in on my feelings and senses. I wrote about the textures I saw in the various exotic plants and trees, the contrast of light versus the shade of darkness throughout the botanical center, and what type of mood the center portrayed to me.
After spending this time journaling, I honestly felt like I had a better grasp of what types of shoots I envisioned photographing at the botanical center in the future and how I could convey the thoughts and feelings I had into my photography.
I know this won’t be my last time at the botanical center anytime soon, just because it’s such a fun place to shoot in and I’m still working on how to portray storytelling, moods and emotions in my work. Plus, I would like to do a full feature on it for my #MyDesMoines series. In the imagery I have displayed here, I wanted to show the textures I found interesting, as well as the contrast of light in the area. I think that’s a great place for me to start and eventually as I keep working, it will build up to more.
I know I don’t update as often as I should, so be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook to see what I’m up to during my day to day life. What are some ways you’re letting go and living, or learning more about yourself personally/creatively?