Monday, September 26th, 2016: Grab a guest post. Let’s have a friend share our space for the day.
For Blogtember this year I asked one of my very best friends if she would mind writing up something for me and she was more than happy to! I am so happy (and proud) to introduce you to Rhea, my best friend for almost 18 years!
Since I started my journey down my creative path in photography, I feel like I’ve experienced my fair share of ups and downs. I know I will be in for more as time goes on. When it comes to the challenges I have faced, friends and family around me have seen me struggle with my fears and doubts that have made me take pause and consider giving up. More than once I’ve considered selling my equipment, shutting down my website, and doing myself a favour and forgetting I even started a business in the first place.
Cut that limb off where it hurts, if you know what I mean.
The idea of killing my business has always felt freeing to me. No more battling within myself for ideas to create work that is recognized and no more struggling with my inner demons, wondering if I’m good enough for this path. I wouldn’t have to fight with my feelings or the belief that my best photo is the one I have yet to take. But this idea, as freeing as it might sound, always gave me the notion that I’d regret my decision. Having one less thing to worry about sounds nice, until you realize that it was something important to you all along.
I still feel like I am always being led down an unknown path. The decision to turn around and run has always been in the back of my mind, but still, I move forward.
When I first started photography, I spent many hours excited to learn and expand my photography knowledge. I would gush over others’ works for hours, heck, even days. I’d study and learn everything they offered, everything from camera techniques to editing tips. I was so involved with doing the same things that others were doing that I forgot to take a step back and do what I wanted. Sure, my work looked good and I was booking clients, but I didn’t realize until It was too late that I should have tried my own ideas and not be so afraid to try things I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Studying and learning from the masters is important, just as much as taking inspiration and learning so your work grows with you. But there is no merit in not learning some things for yourself. I became consumed with shooting and providing work that looked like others. Because of this I sunk into a pit where creativity and drive withered into nothing.
At some point, I had forgotten why I started. The spark that I had felt when I was twelve and first started photography was only a faint memory after I finally realized where I had ended up. This was also about the time I had lost something else important to me. My dad passed away, and with him, the last of my drive and vision for my passion. Like a match struggling in the wind, that day it blew out completely.
I’m sure you can guess why it was this event in my life that had me wandering the empty wasteland of creativity and ambition. But I will tell you anyway. Since the day I decided I had a passion for photography, my dad was always my biggest fan. He had my first picture assignment from photo class on his wall, and every final project after that with my soaring grades plastered on the back of them. And he never failed to get me the coolest photography related gifts. I still to this day use every single one of them. My dad never had a whole lot of money but all of them were thought out and researched. He had a reason behind every gift and why he thought they were useful.
I have had a hard time getting back to my aspirations now that he’s not around to share in the joy and the wonder. But those moments that I do take the initiative to create again, I can feel myself lighting another match. The wind is fierce right now but I’m fighting. I got a box full of matches, and it’s not over yet.
This time I’m trying to create things as I want. I am learning that the best part of shooting is the part where it is for me, and me only. I appreciate the work I do more when I create for the sake of creating. The little voice in my head telling me I’d never be good enough has faded some, although I still hear him sometimes.
I suppose that voice will never go away completely, but what I do know is I don’t have to listen. I will continue to learn and grow and celebrate my vision in my own way. I will do what I can to remember to step back and see the bigger picture and open my eyes to what I experience. There is a story to be found there. I’m sure of it.
Thanks so much to Rhea (Shutterfly Photography) for taking the time to be my guest poster. Be sure to send her and her photography some love by checking out her social media:
Thanks so much for reading!