In my Journey of finding what I wanted to do, I WAS COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY LOST.
Like most college students, I struggled finding what I loved to do by just taking courses and seeing what I was interested in, because let's be serious...it takes time. Even before college, I honestly didn't think about it much. I was enjoying being a child, as i should have, but I'm talking ZERO thought. I was all about being in the moment and worrying about the future when the future rolled around, well here it is folks. here it is. As I switched majors THREE times, I found myself questioning if I would ever be able to find what I loved to do, and live off of it. (PS. anyone not in college, eat everything warm you can. cherish it. oh, and actually study, being smart is cool when your older, promise.)
I knew what I 'liked' to do, but it was always a matter of how would I work to live, until I thought 'what if I lived to work'?
YEAH, yeah. typical thought, i know. Honestly it's what ran through my head. and I can't sit here and say that it was the smartest thought with no promise of money, but it lead me to where I am right now. plus, I always knew I liked photography, loved people, and wanted to work for myself, but never thought I would do anything about it. (another typical thought, but maybe it's a common thought because it's simply right. Can I get an amen for being my own boss?! Ps. this actual is a lot of work, and yes, I actually work during the day as much if not way more than a 9-5 worker. Well, at least most days.) It was all as simple as putting the pieces together and finding myself loving not only photography, but the business aspects of it, and everything that followed.
(There are quite a lot of pieces missing in between, but i can cover those later.)
In my decision to start my own business I found there are SO many rewarding aspects that I never thought about in the beginning. As my business has grown, so has the reasons that I continue to do what I do! What started out as photographing 'pretty things' has turned into a passion for my clients, and everything else that rolled at me, that I can honestly say never saw coming.
Here are 5 reasons I pushed myself to follow my dreams to become a photographer + have become huge perks of being in the creative business.
1. Learn who you are.
As time passes I notice that I am growing and so are my interests! (such as my new website! HOORAY!) Something as simple as taking pictures made me look at myself in a different light. (in the best way.) My work has became a mirror. crazy, right?!
"You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul."
Everything about being in the creative field already tugs at your heart. unlike most* strictly professional businesses, you put your soul into the process of falling in love with the people, and capturing what could be a picture that will be hanging on their great granddaughters wall. There is SO much thought going into a photograph ( i think all photographers have a little bit of ADHD, I'm paying attention to 100 things when i look through the camera.) and for any non-photographer readers, the camera could be a cell phone and we would probably be attached to our work. or maybe that's just me, who knows.
I learned so much about myself as I started realizing I had to find out why I'm different from the 140,000 photographers in America. (yes, their is really that many, and more that don't have official businesses, honestly.) How is Natalie, a small girl from a small town any different? let me tell you, I am so different. and so are you. you just have to take the things you didn't think made you anything, and make them worth everything.
well it's so true. I find myself putting more of my personality into a photo shoot, where as before.. well I'm not real sure - you see that photo up there, right?!
2. the emotion behind it- unreal.
Getting to know your clients and the stories behind the people in pictures can get you so attached to them and their story! When I first started my business I didn't get to know my clients on a personal level, and I was missing out SO much! A simple questionnaire or a few questions during the shoot can change not only your experience but the clients whole experience! I found myself getting much more emotionally attached to my clients and their shoots!
(And don't even get me started on the actual wedding day! The way a moms eyes glisten watching her little girls hand get passed in marriage, or the grooms face when he first sees his bride. Not only do you feel emotion, but you can make other people feel emotion! Pay attention to everything and everyone on their special day, and learn who is most important to them! that simple picture of grandma wiping her tear could be a precious moment for the bride and groom. Something SO special about capturing pictures for me, is knowing that they can go back and look at their pictures are have the memories within the pictures!)
3.connections, connections, connections!
This business can take you places that you never would imagine, as it did for me! I expected to be going into this business alone and I was beyond wrong. You could be introduce to people with the same interests and potentially be best friends (and no, I'm not kidding!) especially if your just starting up, this is a great time to be coming into the creative world! The Rising tide society just launched and is really pushing the #communityovercompetition bandwagon!
When I started I never thought I would have gone to Creative at Heart where I met so many amazing Vendors, or that I would be friends with the people I am today (including these beautiful faces from Natalie Franke and Krista A Jones - the Bayside Workshop! Love them!) If you are ever feeling down about your business there are ALWAYS people you can go to that are either going through, or have gone through the same thing and can give you the best advice! (Meeting so many great people is also great for referrals!)
You can also help others out in this business, which is SUCH a rewarding part! You could potentially be the person another creative comes to for advice which makes my heart sore! I love teaching (I teach kids over the summer!) and a lot of other creatives feel the same way!
( side note: I apologize for going off topic for all future posts, I do that a lot. )
The people I have meet through this business have pushed me further than I ever thought I could be and influenced how I think about my business + my life.
4. making clients love themselves, just how they are.
Making people feel beautiful and see the smile on their face when they feel beautiful in a picture makes me feel so much joy! (Side note number two : just a little advice, that you in no way have to take. My little caption says it all- PLEASE don't edit people's skin to the point where they look completely unnatural. + if you do love the style which a lto of photographers do, keep it very, very, consistent. Most clients want to think they actually looked like they did in a picture, not that you had to edit the picture to the point where they don't look like themselves! It's the same thing when you wear a lot of make-up and then take it off at the end of the day and feel... not cute to say the least. just tip toe around over editing how someone looks!) I want my clients to feel naturally beautiful. When I say "feeling beautiful" I don't just mean because of their makeup, or outfits. I'm talking about their personality, their smile and the way they smile, the way they act. All of these wonderful things that truly make someone absolutely gorgeous on the inside that gleams on the outside!
5. Expression in visual story telling.
Photography can be so fun and exciting! Not only is photography heart felt, but it has a story behind it! If it is a senior photo shoots, newborn, wedding, or personal work with a model, they all have a unique story behind each photo! (part of enjoying the story is getting to know your customers!) When I first started out I was missing out on actually getting to know my clients. Again, a questionnaire or just a few questions can get me connected to the photo shoot on a whole new level! As a photographer I get the chance to witness love, and surprise myself with the work I can create with the moments that surround me.
thank you so much.
I hope you enjoyed reading through my very first blog post! Feel free to browse my new website!
Stay tuned for next weeks Informational Blog post on Authentic Posing vs. Forced Posing!