It starts as a passion, a need to cultivate your artistic nature. A way to escape from the mundane. You pick up your first DSLR and shoot everything under the sun that breathes. Your passion then becomes an addiction. Your addiction translates to a messy house, no sleep, disregarded children, and a husband that simply shakes his head as you return to your cave; aka your computer room.
From there, you get overwhelmed and you simply can't do it all and run a successful photography business at the same time. And it's usually then that you are needing a shrink with some couch time as he questions and analyzes your inner intentions, dreams and true motivations.
Okay, so that might only be me. But I'm finding that more and more of us "maternal" photographers have quite a lot in common.
How do I juggle my home with my passion?
How do I find my style? How do I set myself apart?
And more than anything in photography or life, how do I find...me?
After a couple years of blogging, reaching out to the world and social media hoping for comments on MY blog, about MY photos, to help MY ego, it became selfishly exhausting, and in no way was I happy. After a late night conversation with my psychologist (husband), he imparted a judgement that hit me on the side of the head like a shovel. MY photography was all...about...me.
I'm not sure how it happened, but suddenly my intentions changed and my goals were redefined. It was like Mother Theresa and I had a moment.
My lens became a platform to capture a soul, a way for me to look into a subject's eyes and write a story. To me, it wasn't just about a conceptual photo, or a unique style, or a perfectly composed photograph. Photography truly became a tool for me to write and to simply narrate to the world. And because of this, my camera transformed, my work was replaced, and my style completely changed. And in all honesty, that style found me.
Photography became entirely about my subjects, and in turn, I completely fell in love with it all over again. I wanted to see my subject's eyes, I wanted to get to know them, I wanted to gain a friend and inform the online world of their magnificence. Whether it was a homeless man, or a beautiful model, a little girl, or a bride, I came away from every shoot fulfilled, and immensely happy. Why? Because it wasn't about me. Each of the individuals that were implanted on the chip of my memory card had beauty, each of them had worth, and without a doubt, they each had a story to tell.
So what happened next?
My business exploded. I was able to then pick and choose the jobs that suited my passion, and thus, I was able to juggle my "maternal" responsibilities. My inner story-teller then became fulfilled by creating portraits that had personal meaning.
Today, my "story-telling" has taken over, and my camera is being put on the back burner. [FRAMED], an online show for photographers about photographers, was created and I'm completely engrossed in the stories of others. The team and crew are absolutely amazing and the stories to come are remarkable. I'm personally fascinated and highly rewarded to lose my work for a while and focus all efforts on the talents and publicizing of others.
So what is my story?
I am selfishly yet selflessly fulfilled by telling your story.
The advice I've received from the best of the best has awakened my inner being. When you find something that is your passion, and you focus your efforts on building others, business and money are the result. Never should it be your reason. Because if money doesn't come, at least you are happy, content...fulfilled.
So, my dear friends, what is YOUR style? That's for you to happen upon. What is YOUR passion? That's for you to find. And what is YOUR story?
That...is for you to write. And I truly cannot wait to read it.