It is a challenge to be creative on demand - especially when you are freelancing, which was the case for me for many years before I joined the Monitor. The pressure to perform began to crimp my spontaneity and creativity, two qualities necessary to produce arresting images. I was shooting to please my editors rather than following my inner muse. The quality of my work began to suffer. In response, I began photographing a series of personal projects, free from the burden of commerce that was clouding my vision. I wanted to reinvigorate my love for the craft that I'd been practicing since childhood. It worked. Not only that, but one of the projects - a season-by-season look at Walden Pond - attracted a book-publisher's attention.
Today, as a Monitor staffer, I am not saddled with the inner financial refrain of "Will I get another assignment?" on every shoot. But I still feel that I sometimes get locked into just shooting for specific assignments, rather than keeping a constant eye out for images.
I snapped this shot randomly on my way to buy a new lens. It does not fall into any definable category here on the paper: news, features, or even essay illustration. I showed it to one of my editors, though, and he pointed out some triangles. Now I can't stop seeing triangles. Take a look. Chalk one up for spontaneity!