I’m going to be totally honest with you…this post is a scary one for me. As I have grown my business, I have tried to take an organic, easy-going approach to new clients and promoting myself. I felt that I was still learning (still am and will always be!!!) and didn’t want to seem ridiculous by drawing lots of attention to my work or the fact that I did this as a professional service. I never wanted to ruffle feathers, tread on the toes of other photographers, etc.. Plus, there are soooo many other photographers out there with loads more experience than I, what could I possibly have to offer?! However, I realize now looking back, that I was AFRAID. I was afraid of what others would think of me and most importantly, my work. This creative process has been a very personal one for me and to even begin sharing it with the world was terrifying. How would it be received?! Would others think I was ridiculous or mock my style or way of shooting?! Was my editing horrid? This big huge world or professional photography was so intimidating and I have lost many hours of sleep worrying and feeling inadequate. As time goes by, I have become more relaxed. (Don’t get me wrong, I still have a tendency to over-analyze and compare myself to others wayyyy too often!!! I think this will always be a battle and conscious choice to veer away from.) I feel that my images reflect me and my unique style, while still being open to growing and evolving. I am sure that to others, my technical style isn’t perfect, that my editing could use some tweaking and that my constant use of smiley faces and “xo’s” can be silly. However, I am confident in saying that this is who I am and the clients that I have worked with have chosen me are a perfect fit. I am not afraid to be myself around them and they receive images that reflect the style they sought out in the first place. PLEASE don’t take this as bragging, I am just excited to share how I have mentally grown over the past few years as well as what I attribute to the success of the business itself!
So what does this have to do with the title of this post, you ask? Because I want to start giving back. For me, photography began with photos of my children. I had no “formal” training and sought information anywhere I could find it. A few very wonderful photographers that went before me in experience, knowledge and time served as a base for my photography “education”. One quote I discovered recently really pushed me over the edge to decide to reach out to you all,
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”
– James Keller
These photographers I followed (still do and still strive to emulate!) helped develop me, my business, my love for photography! They didn’t worry about giving away their “secrets” or if others wanted to be just like them. They knew that their creative process will always be their own and that while others may strive to have similar work, those same people will most likely discover their own creativity and style in the process. (Don’t get me wrong. I never feel it is ok to blatantly copy someone’s exact image, use other’s pictures as their own, etc.! :)) It is because of others kindness and encouragement that I find myself here today. I don’t know it all, and still have lots to learn (don’t we all?!). However, I have recently felt a pull to help and encourage others in this field. Whether it be for developing a business, taking better pictures of their children, or just learning how to use their camera in the first place…I want to help!
This past fall, I spent a wonderful few hours with a sweet friend and fellow photographer, Rebekah Hoyt. It was this time together, learning and hearing about her photography journey, that I began to truly embrace my style and the business I created. Most importantly, my time with her was a turning point. A BIG one. I felt empowered, excited and ready to share with my clients and others. This is how I want other photographers feel. There should be no shame, no being scared of what others think, no judgement. We are all part of a wonderful, creative, community that brings beauty to the world.
That being said…here goes…I am now available for mentoring sessions! This time together will be tailored to covering exactly what you wish and what will benefit you the most. They are to be relaxed and information rich. I am living just west of Baltimore, MD and the sessions will be held in my home. However, I am available for Skype sessions and am happy to discuss traveling as well. To learn more, just shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will chat!!!
Photo credit, the amazing Rebekah Hoyt!
Thanks for reading!! The encouragement I get from all of you is what nudged me to take this plunge in the first place, and I am so grateful. Let’s light some more candles!! :)