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Writing + Photography

Memoirs and musings of Darius Bashar. Toronto portrait photographer and writer, in pursuit of all things real, raw and intimate. 

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My Photography Exposed A Major Gap In My Life

I had a powerful realization two days ago about writing, but more importantly about life. Like most meaningful lessons in life, it was simple. It almost seems obvious after the fact.

I actually already wrote about this particular lesson a few months ago, but I was only looking at it from the perspective of photography. For those of you who don’t know, I work as a professional portrait and fashion photographer.

That original post was and still remains, one of my all-time favourite writings. It was also my shortest post ever. It didn’t really attract any attention. Very few “likes”, comments and shares.

But that didn’t matter.

For me, everything was in those 22 words.

I initially wrote the post focussed on my photography process, but when I looked back, I saw it was so much more than that.

It’s a road map to living a full life. Don’t be fooled by the brevity of the original post. It’s short, but if you pay attention, everything I know about life can be found in those 4 simple steps.

I have listed 3 versions below. The first is the original, which was entirely focussed on my photography process.

The other two have slight modifications that make them specific to writing and life.

Again, don’t be fooled by how simple it is.

Also, there is a difference between simple and easy.

My Process (Photography)

  • Find the story
  • Find the light
  • Find myself (“Anyone can take a portrait. Where is Darius in this photo?”)
  • Lose everything else

My Process (Writing)

  • Find the story (One simple take-away that the audience can articulate in a single sentence, after finishing your writing.)
  • Find the light (there is a specific access point where this story has the best chance of truly being seen)
  • Find myself (Show your heart. Show your vulnerability. Don’t lecture. Put your lived-experience at the centre of this story.)
  • Lose everything else

My Process (Life)

  • Find the story (Who do you want to be? Fundamentally different questions than, what do you want to be. One is about finding your purpose. The other is about a career.)
  • Find the light (there are specific beliefs you need to explore, that will allow this story to come to life. Just remember all beliefs are horse shit.)
  • Find myself (Explore your heart. Celebrate your vulnerability. Feel deeper. Think higher.)
  • Lose everything else

I’ve always been obsessed with exploring the creative process of highly successful artists and innovators. I would eat up anything I could find on the topic.

But what about a Life Process?

It’s taken me 35 years to realize I don’t have a conscious Life Process. Or I didn’t, until now. But guess what, not having a process is also a process. It embraces randomness, with the hopes that maybe shit goes your way. It’s very passive and totally unpredictable.

It’s like a writer waiting around for inspiration to find them. That’s not how great writing works. It’s also not how anything great works for that matter.

So, do you have an active life process that you can articulate?

If so, I’d love to hear about it.

Has it worked for you, or does it get in the way?

I’m new to the life process game, but I have a feeling it might just be a game changer.