What Inspires You? – A guest post from Greg of Sippity Sup

I have asked a few friends to fill in for me this week while I travel to and speak at the International Food Blogger’s Conference (IFBC) in New Orleans. Inspired by Greg’s (Sippity Sup) Savoring Summer guest series on his site about the childhood summers of fellow bloggers, I decided to ask my guests “What is your passion and what inspires you?”  The topic was completely open and didn’t have to relate to food. I hope you enjoy Greg’s post and his beautiful photography as much as I do.  He is both a talented photographer and writer.  All of the photographs in this post were taken by Greg.

Inspiration. It’s a word that’s lost some meaning for me.

I started my blog, Sippity Sup – Serious Fun Food, almost three years ago because I was looking for inspiration. For better or worse I am a creative soul.

Numbers elude me. I can’t remember if a dozen is 10 or 22. I always make poor choices when it comes to finances. I follow my heart but my heart doesn’t follow the stock indexes. You buy a house because it’s big and pretty. You leave the foundation and roofing problems for experts, while you turn your attention to paisley and polka-dots.

I spent almost 20 years of my life as a professional photographer. Technically speaking (or at least according to the IRS) I still make a nice living as a photographer. Though I have not picked up a (real) camera in more than three years.

Because my early life and my early inspiration was Hollywood, I didn’t plan it and I don’t really like movies. But I have met and photographed a lot (a lot) of big name Hollywood stars. Big screen. Small Screen. No Screen. Actors, writers, producers and all.

I am not talking about paparazzi. I don’t have the personality to hide in the bushes and then jump out and be all in someone’s face. My photos were planned. We worked in a studio. Producers, Publicists and Magazines were my clients. Technically, they still are.

But I find no inspiration in that life anymore. What happened?

Life happened.

When you are young and creative, there are no boundaries. There are no rules. There is no stopping you if you are determined and so inclined. I was so inclined, and very determined. Call it ego, call it talent or call it stubborn perseverance. But I believe anything is possible if you look at it singularly.

Place your eyes on the rungs of the ladder in front of you. Move up one step at a time but keep your eyes locked straight ahead. Don’t look up and certainly don’t look down. Vertigo has destroyed more creative people than we will ever know.

I did all right in Hollywood, but I didn’t make it to the top of the ladder. Because life happened. I met a man and fell in love. He supported my aspirations; of course he did because he loved me.

But when you build a life with someone you love, the life becomes the most important thing. You make decisions you might never make if you were still climbing that ladder alone. But the rungs do get closer together when it’s the two of you climbing that ladder. The stronger you get, the easier that ladder becomes. You start to see the top of the ladder.

But what if the top of the ladder is not to be your destination after all? Because when you look around, you see that this spot, this plateau is lovely. In fact it’s perfect. So you get off the ladder and build a life right there.

And you’re happy.

But then you wonder– sometimes out loud and sometimes privately. Am I happy? Is this enough? Am I inspired? Am I still the same person who started on this ladder? Then suddenly you see ladders all around you. You wonder where they go? They lead away from here. That much you see. Should you grab the rungs of one of these ladders? Should you put one foot in front of the other and begin another ascent?

I don’t know, but I started a blog anyway. It’s got ladder written all over it. But I am tired of never-ending ladders. So I set some rules for this ladder and this blog.

I am a professionally trained photographer who uses a $100 dollar point and shoot camera – held together with duct tape, for most of the photos on my blog. For me it works. I even find inspiration in the fact that my creative choices are limited by the tools I use. I have been challenged creatively by the constraints I have chosen.

But sometimes I see beautiful photos on other blogs. I see that DSLR look written all over those photos, and I get a little jealous. I think about getting a DSLR. But that would mean getting on that ladder all over again. And I wonder, is that the life for me? Is there inspiration there?

The truth is I don’t know.

* All photographs in this post were taken by and are copyrighted by Greg Henry (Greg Henry Photography).  Please respect the copyright laws.

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