Fun is Not Frivolous



What a tr├Ęs triffic time was had by all at this shoot with the delightful Betty and the Betties.

The shoot was a hoot, and another thought-provoking experience in terms of creative process and collaboration – two topics of great interest to me.

I shall harp on about them some more…

The shoot was staged at a fabulous little vintage store called Can You Keep a Secret which provided all the sets and props we could eat. (Thanks to our awesome hostesses Ajanta and Emily.)

The Betties are a squadron of bodacious broads costumed in 1940’s war-time couture who perform comedy acapella. The troupe comprises hilarifying comedian Jenny Wynter, and three accomplished singers: Mona, Angeline and Kate.

Being performers, the Betties know how to play. The process was a cacophony of dialogue and laughter. (Cacophony comes from the Latin phonus meaning sound, and the Greek cac, as in ‘to cack oneself’.) So, the garrulous girls know how to have a good time. They know that in being open and not afraid to fail that they will find success. They have developed this trust in themselves, in the magic of the creative process, and in others with whom they collaborate.

This is the hilarious irony of creativity I think – it’s the letting go that puts it in your possession.

Having said that, the process isn’t about not exerting effort (if you will overlook the double-negative). The mind is entirely engaged and focussed on the goals of the activity. On one level, the mind is shrewdly pitted at solving the conundrum of how the outcome will be achieved. It is in the way that the mind manages that process that is important - the way in which it allows, instigates and maintains flow within itself and between itself and others.


Momentum and rhythm are concepts that come to mind. There is a balance between control and flow – perhaps a bit like white water rafting! (More dubious analogies coming soon.)

Art direction is an essential aspect of the photographers’ role. One doesn’t simply point the camera at the subject and work out the correct settings. It’s important to be bossy! The photographer is the facilitator of play. “Let’s try this, let’s try that…ok, that expression but give me 20% more!”

People skills are as important to the photographer as the bleeding camera (ffs). I like the politics of creativity - regardless of the roles individuals might be playing within a project, there is equality. There has to be. Anyhow, I digress. One too many concepts spoils the blog. Back to FUN…

So the Betties got the pictures they were after, and the shoot was a hoot to boot. We achieved our goals in terms of work, we had a marvellous time, and we made friends. Why just work when you can LIVE?

Fun is important. It isn’t a frivolous detraction from ‘work’, nor is it an optional adjunct. Fun is key to creative success. It brings out people’s best. It unbattens the hatches of constraint allowing ideas to tumble in, and it lubricates the sluices upon which they flow. It enables real rapport and effective collaboration.

FUN is the very host of play, and play is the creative process, after all…

</rant> Thank you for reading.