Creating or Consuming: Education as More Than Entertainment, Taking Intentional Action Towards Your Creative Goals

If you’re a photographer, you’re probably an education junkie, just like me. We sign up for courses, we watch tutorials, we follow other creators on Instagram. But the problem is, we consume all this information and we don’t do anything with it. Even worse, we allow it to create doubt in our minds about our skills and talents. In this solo episode, I’m sharing why you should embrace active creation over passive consumption of educational info as a photographer and business owner.

In today’s episode, I’m sharing what active creation means, the reasons why we should actively use education as a catalyst for our creative goals, and some actionable steps you can take to embrace creative action in your own business as a photographer.

It’s time we stop letting passive consumption of educational information lead to comparison and doubt. It’s time to implement, execute, and take deliberate action toward your creative goals!

What’s in this episode:

  • [02:04] What active creation actually means and why it’s important to all photographers and creatives
  • [03:46] Why education should go beyond being just a source of entertainment 
  • [06:36] The reasons why actively using education as a catalyst for our creative goals is essential for our growth and fulfillment
  • [08:19] Some actionable steps you can take to embrace active creation

Tune in to this episode for how you can embrace creative action as a photographer.

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Want to put an end to awkward moments in your photo sessions and create genuine connection? Download The Storyteller’s Toolkit today, featuring 200+ emotive photography prompts, so you’re never left wondering what to say. 

Did this solo episode inspire you? Check out this episode 8 Ways to Get Out of a Creative Rut with Lisa Digeso that offers you even more insight on finding alignment in your business!


[00:00:02] Lisa DiGeso Welcome to the Art and Soul Show where we dive into heart opening chats on photography, business, life and that messy in between. I’m your host, Lisa DiGeso, a mom, a photographer and entrepreneur, and I’ll be sharing honest conversations and advice for photographers with insight on mindset, entrepreneurship and creativity. The goal of this podcast is for you to be able to gain insights and strategies that will get you real results. Because let’s face it, having a photography business can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the place you can go when you need a boost of encouragement, a kick in the pants and inspiration to pick up your camera. This is the Art and Soul show. 

[00:00:45] Lisa DiGeso Hello, my beautiful friends. Welcome back to the show. Today I have a special solo episode focusing on a trap that I really can often find myself in. It’s using education as entertainment. Now, I am a lifetime learner and I do love learning. But what I repeatedly have to remind myself is that the magic actually comes in the doing. It’s the picking up the camera, it’s the trying, the new technique. It’s pulling my own images into Photoshop where I really see the biggest gains in my own art and then really my confidence. Now I love producing our retreats so much and the retreats and the teachers we have joining us are ones that I am personally interested in learning from too. But one thing I find happens sometimes is I happen to find myself just passively watching and not implementing what we’re actually learning, and that can sometimes really feel demotivating. And that’s not how I want to feel about my art. And I’m sure you don’t either. So in this episode, we’re going to explore the concept of active creation versus passive consumption, and how using education solely for entertainment really can hinder your progress. So get ready to discover the transformative power of embracing education as a catalyst for your creative goals. 

[00:02:04] Lisa DiGeso Now, as photographers, it is crucial for us to move beyond the role of just passive consumers. And what that means is we can’t just sit there and watch these videos and this education that we’re purchasing just as entertainment and not do anything about it. Now we’re going to deep dive today into the meaning of what active creation is and why education should be more than just mere entertainment and how taking action really is essential to overcoming the pitfalls of compare and despair, which I’m sure we’ve all been. So before we delve into the importance of active creation, let’s really clarify what it means. Now, active creation involves engaging with the knowledge that you’re learning and the inspiration you’re consuming and using it to shape your artistic voice. Now it means stepping into the role of an empowered creator who takes deliberate action towards your creative goal. Now, active creation also empowers us to move beyond the limitations of our self-doubt and our overwhelm. Because I know from personal experience that that is paralyzing. So by embracing a mindset of being a engaged and a active creator, we become proactive in our own growth. And by actively doing the doing and learning by experiencing, we actually cement in all that information into our brains. We need to learn, we need to experiment, and we need to express our own unique perspectives. And by doing, doing the doing and picking up your camera instead of just watching along, it’s really going to help you discover your own artistic voice. It’s really through active creation that we can really unlock our own creative potential and really make the most meaningful strides in our journeys as artists. 

[00:03:46] Lisa DiGeso Now let’s examine a little bit why education should really go beyond just a source of entertainment. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love buying online courses. Like literally, I am such a course junky, you guys. I’m always so curious on how others run their sessions, how they edit. I just love to fill my brain with all sorts of new ideas to try and to implement. But sometimes I find myself in that habit of just watching but not actually doing. And then I just start to feel a little bit sad, really. And then my inner critic, it starts to creep in and it says, Well, you’re never going to be as good as this instructor, so why are you even bothering trying? Which is nuts, because it’s not a competition. Our ego is such a big fat liar. So in order to really stop myself from letting myself get in my own way, I really have to manage my mindset around learning. And so these are a few reminders you might need too. Learning, my friend, can be really hard. In fact, most of the time it’s painful. We learn by doing, but when we don’t get it immediately, it can be soul crushing. It’s so frustrating. We get so excited to try something new and then when it falls flat. It sucks. And honestly, friend, it is okay to say that. I go through it too. We all do. That is why it’s so important to maintain that growth mindset and it’s integral in your learning process because no one was born a master. We’re all just starting as beginners and we all have to wade through that learning muck as well. I have to remind myself a lot of the time you guys just stopped taking myself so darn seriously and to really look at learning and experimenting as part of the play practice where I can approach it with joy and laughter and silliness and keeping it light and laugh at my mistakes because nobody is counting them. 

[00:05:42] Lisa DiGeso Consuming educational content without taking action really can lead to a cycle of compare and despair. It’s so easy to fall into that trap of just constantly comparing yourself to others, especially from those that you’re learning from, maybe feeling inadequate and doubting your own ability. So you end up giving yourself an F without even trying. When we approach education as entertainment, we sort of passively observe all of the achievements and the successes of others, and we’re not actually working on our own growth. So we end up being spectators rather than participants in our own creative journey. And this passive consumption not only stifles our progress, but it sort of perpetuates that cycle of compare and leaves us feeling disheartened and disconnected, really, from our own potential. Now, really, the key to breaking free from the compare and despair trap really lies in taking action. And let’s explore why actively using education as a catalyst for our creative goals really is essential for our growth and fulfillment. 

[00:06:45] Lisa DiGeso So reason number one is we’re looking at progression over perfection. When we take action based on the knowledge we acquire, we prioritize progress over perfection. Instead of waiting for that perfect moment or the skill level, we really embrace a growth mindset and understand that every step we take contributes to our creative development. Action really is going to propel us forward, allowing us to learn from our mistakes, refine our techniques and ultimately achieve our goals. Reason number two is cultivating confidence. Now by actively applying what we learn, we cultivate a sense of confidence in our abilities. As we experiment and see tangible results our self-belief will grow and we begin to trust our creative instincts. Now this confidence becomes a driving force in our journey, empowering us to overcome challenges, feeling confident enough to start taking risks with our work and our art, and pursuing our vision with unwavering determination. Now, reason number three is authenticity and personal expression. Now, when we actively create, we tap into our own unique artistic voice and express our true selves through our work. Now, by integrating our education into our practice, we infuse our creations with our own magic, our authenticity, and our own personal meaning that we put on it. And this sets us apart from everybody else. This is the juice of your creative voice, and it allows us to create art that deeply resonates with yourself and likely your clients too. 

[00:08:19] Now let’s go through a few actionable steps you can take to embrace active creation and leverage education as a catalyst for your creative goals. Number one is define what your creative intentions are. Take the time to really clarify your creative intentions and goals. What drives your passion for photography? How do you envision your growth and your artistic voice? Now I want you to write down your intentions and really refer to them as a guiding light throughout your journey. Number two is engage in purposeful learning. So this is selecting educational resources that really align with your creative intentions. This means choosing courses, workshops, books, retreats, or mentors that really will challenge and inspire you actively engaging with the material, taking notes and experimenting with the techniques and the concepts you learn. This means taking your own work, taking your camera, going out and trying it in the field or in your studio, and just trying these different techniques with your own work. Number three is implement and reflect. If you don’t schedule it, my friend, it is not going to happen. So schedule in your experimenting time. It is so important that we take the time to implement what we are learning in order for us to solidify these concepts and these ideas to get them to really stick in our brains. If you implement what you learn into your creative practice, you are going to be able to apply these new techniques. You’re going to love experimenting with these different styles, and honestly, it’s going to give you that permission to really start to push your boundaries and regularly reflecting on your progress and celebrating your achievements and identifying your areas for further growth is really going to help you move where you’re wanting to go on your artistic path. Number four is connect with a supportive community. Now, it is so important to me and why community is such a large part of our retreats. I find the biggest gains for me is when I surround myself with a supportive community of fellow photographers and creatives who uplift and inspire me, engage in constructive discussions. You can share your work, you seek feedback and you connect. A supportive community really will provide encouragement and accountability and really valuable insights. 

[00:10:37] Lisa DiGeso So there you have it, my friend. Being mindful of how we learn and setting ourselves up for success will keep you a little more steady. And frankly, if you need some chill out, time to let yourself rest. When you’re battling burnout and trying to add more information into your big, beautiful brain, it is going to leave you more depleted. It is okay to take downtime and binge watch Bridgerton or Daisy Jones and the Six, which I just watched. And it’s amazing. Or read a book or just do nothing. My biggest gains in my own artistic growth really have been after really deep periods of rest where I just let myself unplug. So my friend, by being aware, by taking intentional action as you’re learning and implementing what you learn and really cultivating a supportive community, you’re paving the way for transformative growth in your photography journey. Thank you so much for joining me on this solo episode. I am sending you so much of my light and my love today and every single day. We’ll see you next time. 

[00:11:45] Lisa DiGeso Hey, friend. You know what the worst is? Just being mid-session and completely freezing. You start to feel awkward, your clients start looking at you for direction, and your brain feels like you just hit a wall. Now, believe me, you are not alone. And that’s why we created the Storytellers Toolkit. It’s an emotive prompt guide to help sessions stay free flowing and fun. And best of all right now, it’s totally free. It’s full of prompts for parents, motherhood, family, siblings and couples, and even a sure fire smile prompt. We’ve put together over 200 prompts for you. You’ll never be at a loss for an idea again. Grab your copy at 

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