Skip to main content


Lesson 15 from: Discovering Your Creative Voice

Chris Orwig

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

15. Reframe

Next Lesson: Stay Hungry

Lesson Info


So how we frame or reframe the experiences of our lives affects the experience that we have. I learned this first hand when I was in college. I was a camp counselor at this camp up in the Santa Cruz mountains in the redwoods, it was so much fun. So there we were and one night during the week of those camps, all of the guy counselors and the guy campers would hop in to the pool and just have a ton of rowdy fun and the kids would always say hey, can you throw us? And so they would stand on our hands, one, two, three and they would fly and invariably one kid would lose balance and then all of a sudden, the belly flop right? That kid would come up out of the water and lock eyes with you looking for interpretation of the event. Now as a counselor, there were two options. One I could say, oh no, the kid would cry and the evening would end. Or the other option which is what all good counselors do is they say, yes and the kid would say look how red my stomach is and then everyone would start b...

elly flopping and it would turn into this huge belly flop festival. Now how we frame or reframe what we do isn't necessarily a new concept. I like how Shakespeare put it. He said, "Nothing is or isn't but thinking makes it so." And we can apply this in different ways. The historian Steven Ambrose, this is his approach, he writes about these historical events. When he sits down at his laptop, rather than thinking of it as a laptop, he considers it a campfire. He imagines himself at the end of the day trying to tell these stories that would captivate these other people around the campfire. And so for him, it's that subtle reframing or mental shift which helps him to write in a unique way. Another way to think about this is how we capture images. As a photographer, one of the things that I do, I know that I can reframe an image in order to convey or communicate different ideas and that leads to this action step idea that I have for you. Here it is. What I want to you do is to go out and photograph a friend but I want you to photograph that person in 10 different ways. Here are a couple of ideas. Photograph them so they look very tall. That means you need a low camera angle. Or photograph them so they look small so that there's a small person and a really huge frame. Photograph them from the side, tilt the camera, make them look ugly, beautiful, appear like a friend or an enemy, you get the idea. And the point isn't the picture or those pictures but it's integrating this idea of reframing into your life because then what you can do is apply that to other problems that you have. You know sometimes a solution is all about just shifting your perspective or your frame. Here are a couple of other book recommendations that might help as well. One is called The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday. This is an awesome book and it's all about embracing these obstacles that we face. Another classic in this space, perhaps one of the most profound books here is called Mindset by Carol Dweck. Another great read. Well either way, a couple books but more importantly those exercises that you can take, you can practice with your camera so that you can develop a mindset which is a bit more about reframing which will then help you develop your creative voice in other areas of your life and your work as well.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Discovering Your Creative Voice - Bonus Video - HD
Creative Voice Resource Guide
Ikigai Template

Ratings and Reviews


Excellent. Would recommend this to every creative soul. Inspiring . Thank you very much Chris for this course.

Brenda Pollock Smith

Chris is an evangelist for all creatives. He facilitates expanding our creativity in very simple, practical ways. Really good stuff! Thank you Creative Live for offering this kind of soul food content.

François Morisset

Wow...we need more of Chris Orwig..His wisdom in life mix with photography is extraordinary! What a great gift I got from creativelive..that gift is Chris Orwig. thank you soo much

Student Work