Lessons from Volleyball

This past weekend I’ve been playing lots of summertime, outdoor volleyball.

And I noticed something for the first time on Sunday. 

We played twice that day. The first time I played I felt like the height of the net was easy. Like it wasn't too tall, and that I’d easily be able to hit and spike the ball over it. Looking at the net, I felt confident I was able to dominate it when given the chance.

Then, several hours later when the day cooled down, we set the net back up again — same height as last time. But I looked at it, and it felt higher than it was earlier. Like the height was too tall for me to jump and hit a ball over. I felt a bit more intimidated, and more apprehensive, and too careful — fearing I would hit the ball into the net more often this time around.

But here’s the thing — the net height never changed.

Here is what really changed: my perception.

So the lesson learned is not a new one, but I still learned something that day.

When we perceive an obstacle to be insurmountable, we feel scared and fearful, less likely to take risks and we start to play it safe. Like making cliché photos and poses. But when we feel like an obstacle is doable, and that we are capable of conquering and thriving — we feel confident and start taking the necessary risks to get the job done, and we try new things and grow as an artist.

I couldn't locate the exact tweet, but I remember someone asked Jeremy Cowart on how to photograph celebrities. He said something like, "just photography them like you would a normal person."