The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
ACM: Alexandra Celia Mason, 26, Photographer, Alexandra Celia Photography
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
ACM: I find a lot of meaning and growth in traveling and exploring the world around me. I visit friends around the United States each year, embark on international travel whenever I can afford it and do a lot of day hikes when the weather allows it. Stepping outside of my daily grind and outside of what is comfortable contributes a lot to my work, not just because it fuels my creative juices but it also helps my creative process. I find it necessary to step away from anything photography-related throughout the week. Spending excess amounts of time on a project or in front of the computer kills my creativity and makes me forget why I started creating in the first place. I think that a balance between work and play reminds me not to take my work to seriously. Inspiration and ideas do not visit me or anyone on a daily basis so not pushing creative work allows it to grow and flourish naturally in its own time.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
ACM: I think it’s easy to feel obligated to focus on work that pays rather than personal work. Alexandra Celia Photography has only been a business for three years so I do focus a lot of my time on creating work that will bring in revenue. Regardless, even the paid work I am doing is personal work in a way. I am following my passion and every day I am able to do that is a blessing.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
ACM: I am a huge morning person. I always have been but even more so since starting my owning business. I feel most creative and most productive in the morning. The earlier the better. There is something really settling about waking up with the sun and realizing you have the whole day to create something, anything.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
ACM: I would like to continue primarily shooting weddings. Documenting love is my favorite. Eventually when I gain more experience I also see myself teaching workshops around the country. I’ve always loved to teach and share my knowledge with others. Building a sense of community and helping others to flourish is really empowering. There will always be enough work to go around for photographers, so why not help others to accomplish their dream of becoming a photographer too.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
ACM: I am in the process of starting to brainstorm a series for my blog that documents an older demographic. I think photographing older couples and asking them to share what has helped keep their love so strong throughout the years would be an incredible thing to share with younger generations that are you just getting started in the world of dating and marriage. This idea originally stemmed from a coworker of mine, when I used to work at The Gottman Institute, which is an organization that focuses on researching and restoring relationships. Michael Fulwiler, their marketing director, inspired me with the idea and I think it would be such a powerful project to share with the world.
TCU: What scares you?
ACM: I think that there are numerous things that scare me, the same things that scare a lot of creatives. Failure. A lull in clientele. Not being as good as other creatives. Putting out average work. Fear is a nasty force that knocks you down and tries to tell you that if you aren’t the best, then there is no point in even trying. But I think fear is good; it’s a challenge that motivates me each day. Instead of comparing myself to others or worrying about inquiries I try to keep on grinding away at what I do best—taking photos. It makes me happy, I’m paying my bills, and enjoying my life. It’s how you handle those moments of fear and self-doubt that determine your success in a business like photography.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
ACM: I think success and growth go hand in hand. Seeing a greater return in clientele over the years based on referrals and authentic work is my greatest expectation for Alexandra Celia Photography. I am already incredibly grateful for the growth I have seen since deciding to pursue photography full time and cannot wait to see where this creative journey takes me.