Every time a new year rolls around, it's natural to think, "fresh start."
It's so tempting to want to rip out the old pages and create a fresh, clean slate; to forget the mistakes and sorrows of the past year, and to begin the new one vowing to change everything in your life at once for a fresh start. Out with the old, in with the new.
But just like I don't bank on resolutions, I prefer to take the symbolism of a New Year as a chance to gain a fresh perspective. Rather than obliterating out the old, trying to approach the same things in my life with a fresh perspective to change my life in that way instead.
The day-to-day of a job.
The day-to-day of a relationship.
The day-to-day of changing diapers.
The day-to-day of dragging your butt to a gym.
The day-to-day of complacent about things you want to change.
The day-to-day of grumbling about life being unfair.
The day-to-day of telling yourself you're happy when you're actually not.
Whatever it is, it's easy to sink into the good and bad comforts of these things, and things can quickly get stale if not kept in perspective. Rather than immediately hitting the escape button and trying to achieve a "quick fix" by running away under the premise of a fresh start, what if we were to look at things through a new lens with a different approach?
Sometimes we think we know what the issue is, and we like to point fingers to blame something for the monotony or struggles we feel, when change actually begins within us.
Often we throw out the baby with the bathwater, but if we're constantly doing that, we never get to challenge ourselves to unearth something that is meant for us to learn there. We have to dig deeper, and sometimes the simplest of changes can help us feel reinvigorated.
As an entrepreneur running my own business, it's easy to get consumed with your job. There are no official office hours, no one immediately there to bounce ideas off of to get inspiration.
I adore photography for it's freedom and endless ways to express a vision. But when you combine a passion and career, sometimes something you were inspired by and love so much can feel like tedious work. I had been feeling a little stuck with my creative vision for my photos at the end of last year. It felt like I was shooting the same things in the same ways, over and over.
Lensbaby's slogan, "see in a new way" could not have rung more true when learning how to shoot with this lens. I'm not going to lie, I was extremely frustrated at times because the Velvet 56 was unlike any lens I had ever shot with before. I saw these beautiful images online in their gallery, and because mine were just turning out blurry (not in a creative way) and felt overexposed or under, I initially pouted and thought perhaps I got a defunct lens.
Then I got it.
I was so fixated on achieving my exact vision and style through this new lens that I did with my old ones, that I wasn't allowing myself to (not to be cheesy) see in a new way. Instead of embracing what was different about this lens and its very different capabilities, I was trying to force it to act like the ones I was used to.
All of those images are shot within seconds of each other, and all look utterly different thanks to this Velvet 56 lens. I love how crisp and moody the photos are with a tightly closed lens, and I also love how you can also achieve either a haunting and romantic look OR a bright and dreamy look with the lens wide open.
This experience really took me out of my comfort zone and I had to find different ways of looking at the same type of settings and objects I have for the past two years of this blog. It was incredibly freeing and it tapped into a different type of photography skill I didn't know I could have.
I will objectively say that this lens has a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, there's no lens out there I know of quite like it. For macro and food photography, it makes for some beautiful effects but I personally can't wait to shoot more portraits with this lens, as I think the soft and velvety effect will make for some seriously stunning and intimate portrait photography!
Was a good lesson for me to learn that sometimes in order to shake things up, all you need is a little fresh perspective and an open mind.
Special thanks to Lensbaby for partnering with Living Minnaly on this post!
As always, all reviews and opinions are of my own. Thank you, dear readers for supporting the brands that keep Living Minnaly running!