Occupation: Owner, photographer and artist at Carolyn Collins Photography
I am a light chaser, seeking light that beckons the heart.
My *normal* 18-22 hour day begins with espresso on the balcony while I read/answer e-mails, return phone calls, juggle my schedule & update my calendar. The rest of the day/night is creating order out of chaos. It is a methodical routine of avoiding the routine by utilizing my gifts of ADD, OCD, left/right ‘brainism’ and goofy optimism. Having an intern has not changed my normal day… but has allowed me to create more and accomplish more throughout the week.
I am now trying to discern if there is truly much difference between *normal* and *ideal* in each workday, aside from the desire to sleep as long as I would like.
Music is my drug. Photography is my passion. Building bridges between people is my mission. I love animals and have some strangely compelling affinity toward dogs, horses, elephants, gorillas, dolphins & whales (we simply connect and silently communicate on some higher level). I adore children and elders… and am blessed that they are naturally drawn to me as well. I’m a greenie… repurpose when possible, recycle when unable to repurpose, replant what we reap, etc. (yet I drive a gasaholic that ‘thinks green’ only when the traffic light is turning yellow).
My greatest creative influences have sprung forth from various mediums (film, music, painting, etc.). Their genius ability to evoke such deep emotion through their original works open(ed) pathways for me to more clearly ‘speak’ through my lens. Just a few names whose works have profoundly influenced the ‘flavor’ of my photography are: Federico Fellini (film director), Albert Lamorisse (film director), Gregg Toland (cinematographer), David Leeson (Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, mentor and close friend), Steve McCurry (photographer), Dorothea Lange (photographer), Hal Samples (photographer, mentor and close friend), Ansel Adams (photographer), Robert Mapplethorpe (photographer), Boris Vallejo (painter/illustrator), Mark Rothko (painter), Frank Lloyd Wright (architect), Marguerite Duras (writer), Mozart (music composer), and an enormous list of musical composers/musicians (several whom have become dear friends).
My parents (especially my dad) had very giving and forgiving hearts. If dad met someone in need, he would hire him/her (even if it meant creating a position). If he encountered someone in pain, he would counsel them and ‘turn on a light’ so they could through their darkness. My travels around the world allowed me to live in other cultures and develop my intense curiosity for different perspectives. It is the painful, the challenging and the traumatic experiences in my life which have led me to a much deeper understanding of (and appreciation for) the preciousness of fellow humans, fragile moments, and life itself.
My dad, Albert Einstein, Herb & Dorothy Vogel, John Romero, Johnny Cash, Liv Ullman & my best friend (each for very different reasons).
Dance under the influence of, and frequent nearly overdosing on, a steady stream of drugs (music is my drug, remember?). What kind of music? Um, do you have half a day for me to list all the genres and instruments in the world? Submerse myself into nature. Look deeply into a person’s eyes. Drive my car. Close the eye my contact lens lives in so I can see through the blurred vision of the other near-sighted eye. Watch or listen to someone else quietly create.
I’ve been given a new day… that, in itself is motivation. I am addicted to espresso, but can’t think of a ‘guilty’ pleasure that gets me going, but let’s just say that I find much pleasure in simple things. ;)
It depends on what I’m doing. As a full-time freelance photographer, I am an artist and a business owner. If I am tackling the necessary tedium, I will take frequent breaks so I don’t screw up. Yet during those breaks I am still being productive in some way… exercising, cleaning, checking e-mails, cooking, uploading images, reading, something. If I am creating (shooting, editing, writing, etc.), I may be so in the zone that 10hours pass before I realize it, and I’ll take a long break by either switching creative gears to another medium, letting my mind wander in nature, soaking in a hot tub, or hanging with friends. I have learned to go with the flow of my ADD/OCD, let it take the lead. Since I have learned this, I have accomplished much more in less time on a regular basis.