We have three daughters and we are consistently struck by the number of discussions we have with them that cross-over to the discussions we have with clients. Vulnerability is one of the biggest topics and is one we see time and again as a stumbling block to both our daughters and clients we work with. We will be discussing vulnerability in three parts:
- Creative vulnerability to love yourself (and how that manifests itself in front of camera)
- Creative vulnerability with the most important people in your life (and how that impacts what happens at a reveal session)
- Encouraging creative vulnerability in others (and how that leads to extending grace instead of judgment)
Why discuss creative vulnerability?
Getting in front of a camera is tough for many people (including us!). Because it can be difficult, a lot of studios have worked to de-risk getting in front of camera with a repeatable formula: “Stand this way. Put your hands here. Smile!” ::click::
While this model is repeatable and low-risk, our studio works to move away from this formula. So instead of hard, predictable posing, we strive for a different authenticity. As we have discussed in previous posts, we want emotional connection. And the only way to get that is by embracing who you are, who you want to be, and the emotions and feelings that constitute you.
What gets in the way of creative vulnerability?
Tiffany and I had separate conversations this weekend with our two oldest daughters. We were in Colorado Springs for a daughter’s piano competition. It was her first. And as you can imagine, she was feeling exposed. She was a part of a quartet and was stuck in her own head.
“What if I make a mistake?”
“What will people think of my performance?”
“How do I stop feeling so nervous?”
The problem with being stuck in our own head with these types of questions is it can foster more tension. And tension impacts performance! Going up on stage is challenging for many of us. It is vulnerable. But we have a choice to embrace the vulnerability or to resist, adding to additional stress and tension.
The Creative Vulnerability Series
The discussion we had with our other daughter involved a much deeper exploration of vulnerability. She is in middle school right now, the boiler room for vulnerability (and if many of us reflect on the barriers to being vulnerable, I’m sure we could come up with many threads back to the shenanigans in middle school).
“What do I do when people attack me for making a mistake?”
“How do I keep people from putting me up on a pedestal (because I don’t want to fall)?”
“How do I not appear vulnerable?”
We elected to write this series as a point of self-reflection for ourselves as well as to invite you into the discussion. These are big, foundational questions we battle with beyond just creating art. The narrative we create for ourselves when we seek to answer these questions can push us toward a richer experience, or a secluded, unhappy experience.
So we will tackle some of these questions over the three posts outlined above and use our vulnerability in front of the camera as the touchstone to bring this to life.