on holding myself responsible

(fyi, this is a long story. I don’t write a whole lot, but when I do… well, I get a little carried away…)

This is a weird post. Something I typed out one night after staying up way too late.

I debated on just hitting DELETE.
                          by the way, wouldn’t that be nice? if we could JUST hit DELETE in real life?
But, alas, here I am. Giving this to you, my Internet gypsies.
          [you know… wandering around, from blog to blog, never staying very long…
                                …wearing big earrings and head scarves with lots of bangle bracelets….
                                   …may that last part is just me?]
So, gypsy friends, welcome to the inner workings of my reeee-diculous, obnoxious brain. :)
I have been photographing people and things for the majority of my life. My grandma gave me my first film camera, an old 110. I used that thing to death. Not kidding. I used it until it broke. I took photos of everything, and I LOVED it. I still have a lot of the prints, and the memories they carry are worth every penny spent to develop.

I moved from film to digital and became even more obsessive, shooting everything imaginable. I did this for years, and it never crossed my mind to give my photographs an audience until 2010. I had a few families ask me to help them out with their Christmas card pictures, and I obliged without giving it a second thought.

But then I realized… people will see my work (!!!!!!).

At first, it scared the living daylights out of me
          (hold on, what the deck does that phrase MEAN?).
But then I decided I liked sharing and showing off my work. So I went for it, and I pursued clients instead of waiting for them to come to me. It took me a awhile to get comfortable doing so, but I understood that my “dreams will always be dreams until I make them a reality” (J*), and I wanted this to be my reality. I wanted to stop seeing my engaged friends and thinking about how cute they would be be posed like this or like that, and I wanted to start posing and photographing them myself.
At the time, the best part of this choice was, after a month or so my going and getting, people started to come to me. I started getting more requests than I could keep up with, started booking weddings, started having a business. I had to actually turn people away (which, by the way, is so weird and not fun to do).

(see, THIS is the part I don’t know I want to share. oh well, here goes nothing)

I think at this point, I got a little too confident.
I started acting as if people needed me, not the other way around.

And then I stopped getting so many requests.
(yep, really don’t like sharing. ugh.)

I had gotten to a point where I felt like, “I got this.”

Little did I realize, there will never be a point where I really do “have it.”
And the saddest part is, during this downtime, I was getting frustrated.

Here I was, thinking I had it aaaaaall worked out, and then the business end of this business just disappeared. I wasn’t booking at all, I wasn’t working at all. I stopped shooting for a spell, and went through a little funk.

Which should never happen.
Whether I am booking clients or not, I had to learn that I always need to shoot.
I had been so overwhelmed with the busyness of this business, so wrapped up in making a living that I had forgotten how to just make a life. I had almost forgotten how to just be me with my camera. And the realization of this scared the living daylights out of me.

Between this and the lull in business, I was almost ready to quit totally.

However, lucky me,
I have the world’s best support system around me.

I really, really do.

My man, my best friends, friends I’ve been able to reconnect with via this business….
so many people, in my corner, cheering me on.

I was smacked in the face with a harsh reality, and fell back onto the arms of people who love me.
I am so blessed to have people who have no fear in telling me when I’m being lame,
but also know what to say when I dig that hole of self-pity and need a push to get out.

I realized that, yes, I had (and have) a ton to learn,
But also, winter is just not a good season for photography.
(yeah, that is what I yell at myself in the mirror)

I realized that I am responsible for myself. I am responsible for my business. I am responsible for my own happiness, and ultimately, my ability to succeed.
It took some time, but I’m back in the game. It has taken deciding who I am, and who I am as a photographer. I have always had a problem with self-esteem (um, hello, I AM a girl), and it’s no different with this art and this business. But, that’s a post for another time.
I’ve chosen what I want to shoot, and instead of accepting every offer thrown my way, I’m deciding to accept what represents me and my brand. I’ve mentioned it before, but I want this to be my business, and I want it to represent me. I want it to be a business built on my personality and my clients, not on what society/competitors/trends dictate it should be.

So, for those of you who have been around from the beginning, thank you.
For those of you who are new, thank you.

You all have no idea how indebted I am to you for your patience and your support.

[this is from my most recent wedding, a wedding that was dear to my heart.
it’s a blessing to photograph someone who always knew I could
and who believed in me years ago. I’ll have more to say at another time,
but David and Katie, thank you for being beautiful, wonderful, amazing people.]

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