A State of Flow
Words & Images © Sabrina Nadine Claros. Team Los Angeles.
My goal as a photographer is to capture authenticity: real people being their natural selves. I extended that into this project by capturing people within their element, in a relaxed but focused state of mind. We tend to see this in people immersed in their work, who move and act faster than they can think, who forget about time and the world around them. It’s a silent but active state of being. We call this a state of flow, and such activities are called autotelic activities.
These ideas are part of a newer branch of psychology that focuses on how to manifest happiness and positivity, rather than focusing on disorders and behavior. In a world where we are always on the go, always stressed, and always working towards extrinsic goals, we need to make time for the things that make us happy and autotelic activities are just that; the activities that we would invest time and energy into because it is encouraging, challenging, and enjoyable within itself. I hope that this project serves as a reminder to take the time to find the things that bring genuine, intrinsic fulfillment.
No one inspires me more than my family, so I allowed this project to revolve around them. But I also wanted to challenge myself. While I usually shoot in natural light, I incorporated external flashes to highlight my subject in their environment. I even added a self-portrait to the series, another first. The images attempt to capture each subject comfortable in their environment, glimpsing a moment of their lives in which they are typically alone. As I took the pictures, each one immersed in their own activity, there was a peaceful silence. In their own time and space, this is how they achieve their state of flow.