This or That

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One of the starting images for a new composite / story-telling portrait

For those who follow me on Facebook, you've seen my recent story-telling portraiture images. 

While I LOVE making them, there is so much more that goes into a single image than I first realized. Each time I start a new one, I have a deeper appreciation for each and every image I've created before that one. 

And such it is with many things in life: I don't think about how many small steps it actually takes to have achieved / be achieving the things that I am doing.

When I stop to think about it, I am - WE are - actually doing so much in everyday life. And each of those tiny, mundane things has a huge influence on how life looks and feels overall.


Have you ever joined a gym (or had the intention to)? Even before you start a workout, you have to:

  • Think about going to the gym (and overcome any mental blocks that convince you otherwise).

  • Plan a period of time to actually go.

  • Have and put on the appropriate clothes and shoes (including anything you need to wear for the commute).

  • Once again overcome any mental blocks that convince you to stay home, remain more comfortable, or to do something (anything) else

  • Get in the car and drive to the gym.

  • Get out of the car and into the gym.

There are even more micro-steps that I left out, but the point is that there are dozens, if not hundreds of opportunities for you to change paths every single time you intend on going to the gym to workout. Every time you complete a workout, you've accomplished hundreds of micro-accomplishments that helped you get to that point.


With these story-telling portrait images, it takes countless micro-decisions to get to the final image. From the actual design to the implementation, there are mental and physical steps that need to be taken.

While the idea generation is typically easy for me, the photo shoot typically isn't. Especially as I get started with all of this, I am still setting up and taking down many things each time I want to make a shoot - from step stools to backdrops to the tripod to the remote for the camera, as well as the outfits and props. No one step is that challenging, but the combination of steps introduces dozens of opportunities for me to change paths - to decide it is just too much, to procrastinate, to walk away and decide to finish "later". 


An image such as this - no where near completed - has already taken close to 2 hours of physical work, several hours of mental work, and countless micro-decisions.


When you take a look at your life, are you where you want to be, doing what you want to be doing? If not, consider this:

The sobering news is that it took millions of micro-decisions to get you to this point. The good news is that it only takes one to change paths.


Every choice is another bump in a different direction.

Every time I write down an idea for an image instead of keeping it in my head, I'm closer to completing that photo.

Each time I walk downstairs to my studio set-up instead of staying seated in front of the computer, I'm closer to feeling the joy of viewing another completed image.

Each time I roll over and put my feet on the floor in the morning instead of rolling over to hit snooze, I'm that much closer to reaching 2,000 days of walking in a row. 

Such seemingly insignificant actions with unbelievably huge consequences.


This is an invitation for you - or perhaps a reminder. When you stop reading this, your thoughts will continue. They will lead you to different actions.

With each of those thoughts and with each of those actions, you move closer towards an outcome and farther away from a different one. 

Take a moment to consider which outcomes you'd like to occur - what type of day you would like to create, what type of month you would like to create, what type of year.

Micro-movement by micro-movement, let yourself flow closer to the type of life that you want to be living.



These are my most recent composite / story-telling images.

Follow me on Facebook to be the first to see new ones.

I Am The Storm

I Am The Storm

Naked Truth

Naked Truth

Lisa Wilson2 Comments