Our December/January Issue!

by Photo Life

You won’t want to miss the December/January issue! Jody MacDonald points out the benefits of “non-planning,” and she encourages us to move beyond our comfort zone with our photo projects. Patrick La Roque gives us a backstage look at Profoto and how the A1 came to be. David duChemin shares some tips for improving our composition, and Jean-François Landry reveals the secret to mouth-watering food photography. We have an interview with colour-photography pioneer Fred Herzog, Dave Brosha’s hilarious story of a misadventure in photography, plus Jean-François Landry’s Q&As and Gadget Guide and all our regular features!

While working on this issue, I was particularly inspired by Jody MacDonald’s article, “Welcoming Uncertainty: A Non-Planner’s Guide to Planning a Photo Project.” In it, she explains her approach to photo projects (and life) and offers tips about how we can “be prepared to be unprepared.” I appreciate her reflections, especially now as the new year is approaching. Usually toward the end of the year, I get into a more intense planning mindset, evaluating my goals for the past year (and how many I achieved…or, ahem, didn’t). I copy the unachieved goals that I want to keep onto my new list of goals, and I add some brand-new objectives too.

I enjoy planning—sometimes in great detail. But I can also be pretty comfortable dealing with the state of “not knowing,” especially when it comes to my artistic practice. As the years have passed, though, I tend to reply more on the planner side of my personality, so Jody’s article was a great reminder to keep nurturing that flexible side too.

“Not having a plan is hard. Plans are everywhere. We are encouraged to make plans for everything in an effort to minimize uncertainty. Yet, researchers say that embracing uncertainty is essential to creativity. So why do we vigorously cling to our comfort zones, our knowns, and our set plans? Maybe because it makes us believe a good plan results in control of our future and outcomes. But does it really?

My experiences have taught me that plans rarely work because they greatly underestimate the complexities of life and the role that uncertainty and randomness play. I believe that if we can make time and mental space for exploration and play while allowing the future to unfold without attempting to control it, our approach to planning can be far more successful.”
—Jody MacDonald

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