I haven’t blogged in exactly one month. Truth be told, the fall is crazy town for photographers everywhere (especially if you shoot weddings AND families). Throw in a 10 day trip to Hawaii and a 3 day excursion to San Francisco and I’ve been working every single day + night. I’m not complaining, just making a note.
Since it didn’t work out to take someone with me to San Francisco, I got to enjoy and explore a new city all on my own. I spent time walking everywhere listening to podcasts and audio books, and a few still moments in a coffee shop reading and reflecting. It was a personal retreat for my heart but also a beautiful city full of inspiration.
If I were speaking my truth, I’d tell you I’ve actually had quite a few thoughts this year. I just never know where to draw the line between business and personal, but something I pride myself on is being vulnerable and authentic. All I have to give this world is myself, not someone I pretend to be.
Photography has been hard this year.
When I run in to friends and acquaintances, they always comment on how busy I am. Or rather, how busy I appear on social media. Newer, cheaper photographers + darker styles has made every job I book a treasure. This field can be full of comparison and jealousy and there are days that guarding my heart has taken everything within me. On the flight, I listened to a podcast featuring Aarti Sequoia, winner of the first season of Next Food Network Star. She talked about how her “desk job” was filled with comparison and she didn’t want to fight it any more.
“Is that me”, I asked myself. “Am I done?”
I considered all the hard things I’ve done in my life. I balanced that with considering all the hard things I’ve run from. I listened to music as I walked through the city… “I lift my sails to the sky, I’m going to catch the wind”.
I met up with a friend yesterday morning for a last brunch in San Francisco at this bakery, La Boulangerie. The night before we had driven by it and I adored the color scheme but we didn’t stop. When I found my way back here, I smiled and grabbed my camera. I couldn’t stop jumping up and taking pictures of people and things. My sweet friend, also a photographer, laughed at me.
Photography is something I want to keep working at. Even when it is hard. Because it’s worth it. I still have this deep, heart desire to create beauty and share it with the world JUST BECAUSE SOMETIMES WE NEED TO SEE BEAUTY. I also have visions of empowering dreamers to soar and women to believe in their power and all forms of loved to be captured forever.
I thought back to a conversation I had a few months ago with a dear friend and fellow creative. She worried maybe her business was at an end and it troubled her. I smiled and shared this revelation I had… no one can take my gift. “No one can take your gift”, I said. Sure someone can photograph my dream client in my dream location and jealousy or comparison can ruin me. Clients may cease booking me. Ultimately I can still capture my kids on film, or a beautiful bakery that begs to be documented. No. one. can. take. that. from. me.
And no one can take your dreams from you, my friend. Grab a post it note and write yourself a little permission slip, as Brene Brown would do, that says YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO DREAM BIG! And YES it’s going to be hard work; sleepless nights, working your hands raw at tweaking and perfecting what you’ve been given, but the point is we’ve all been given something. Work, be kind, have more grace, and show this world beauty to encourage others that it’s out there.
I am ridiculously thankful to all of my clients who continue to support dreams I swear I never had. If you made it this far reading, THANKS.