In 2010, Andy Grammer, a multi-platinum American singer-songwriter, released a song that would hit the radio waves, becoming a Top 100 single on multiple Billboard charts and charting internationally with widespread acclaim. The song: “Keep Your Head Up.” Take a listen here (especially if you need a boost of positivity in your day):
Why would a freelance photographer, like myself, reference this song in a blog post? Well, the chorus of the song goes a little like this:
“You gotta keep your head up,
and you can let your hair down,
I know it’s hard, it’s hard to remember sometimes,
but you gotta keep your head up,
and you can let your hair down,
eh, eh, eh, eh, eh.”
As I walked along one evening down a familiar path, I found myself mentally hearing this song while capturing some shots of a beautiful array of clouds and sky.
Open Up, Let The Light In | © 2022 Chris Fiegel | All rights reserved worldwide.
Side note: if you’re interested in these kinds of photos and more, check out the full collection by following my Instagram (@chrisfiegel) or Facebook (@officialchrisfiegel) pages!
The lesson I learned: you gotta keep your lens up! As much as us photographers can capture the beauty of landscapes, nature, people, and the world around us, it’s sometimes important to keep in mind that which exists above: the dynamic cloudscapes, infinite sky, threatening storms, burning sun (don’t look directly at it, please), and swirling stars. Keeping your lens - and your head - up through life may just give you the chance to observe - and partake in - incredible moments.
Castles in the Air | © 2022 Chris Fiegel | All rights reserved worldwide.
In other news, NASA’s James Webb Telescope released stellar (pun intended) photography this week, demonstrating the power of looking to the stars in understanding ourselves, the cosmos, and continued exploration. I highly recommend checking out the stunning photos! Additionally, I did a little math/thought experiment the other day after coming across a worthwhile, less-than-10-minute TED Talk. Join me briefly, won’t you? Then, I swear I’m done. Pinky promise.
On an ideal day, one could get 8 hours of sleep, leaving 16 hours left in the day. After considering the time for a typical work day (8-10 hours), meals (1-2 hours), and exercise/self-care (1-2 hours), that still leaves anywhere from 2-6 hours left in one’s day. That's 120 - 360 minutes of time. So, why is it important to take 10 minutes a day to be mindful? The answers may not be what you expect.
Andy Puddicombe (Founder of Headspace, Author, former Tibetan Buddhist Monk, and Mindfulness Expert) shares his journey through meditation and mindfulness, demonstrating the principles and effects of mindful practice using some impressively simple techniques. No need for awkward positions or incense. Presented in less than 10 minutes, this TED presentation makes you think - quite literally - about how we organize work, feelings, and thoughts in our daily lives.
Watch the video here:
In turn, be mindful, and strive to keep both your lens and head up. I would be remiss in sharing this perspective without acknowledging that this can, at times, be very hard. Don’t count yourself out. Catch your breath. Take a walk. Snap a picture. Gaze to the skies above. Be kind to yourself and others, and, as always, be yourself.
Until next time, thanks for your time today, and have a great one!
P.S. Each time I post, I am including a list of some of my creative role models, providing their links, so you, too, can see their amazing content and be inspired!
Andy Grammer (andygrammer.com)
Andy Puddicombe (headspace.com/andy-puddicombe)
People of NASA and beyond (nasa.gov/)
Local small businesses and artists - check out and support your local businesses and artists creating unique products and services!
Check them out, and more to come! See you next time!