In recent months I've realised this photography 'thing' is so much more than what I ever meant it to be and I need to face my fears and embrace it.
When it all began almost 3 years ago, it was only ever meant to be a hobby. And I even thought it would just be another fad, something I'd lose interest in after a while. In fact I've started and never completed so many crafts and hobbies that my spare bedroom cupboard barely shuts! But photography has always been a bit special to me.
My Dad was a fantastic photographer and all his hobbies fascinated me as a child. While he took stunning landscapes and natural history, I found portraiture was what spoke to me and so the journey began.
People asked me many times when I was starting out if I'd like to go into business, like be a real 'photographer'.
And my answer was "No! I'd lose my passion for it!" But I was SO wrong and now in reflection I think it was fear that I wasn't good enough, fear that I'd fail, fear of the unknown that sculpted my answer.
I have always wanted safety, organisation and structure in my life. I like having things perfect.
But what my photography has become offers me none of this ~ every day, every photo is different.
I wasn't even using an SLR camera when I started. But I've never believed its about the gear (sure I love my 6D, but it doesn't see, I do). It's about using light, telling a story, creating a feeling & above all - seeing.
The way I see things has changed, evolved and expanded.
Over the last couple of years I've grown in my technique and skills, learnt a LOT and had some amazing experiences.
Sure it hasn't all been easy but I know one thing: photography has become my absolute happy place!
There isn't a single day goes by that I'm not thinking about photography...
(and that is no exaggeration - ask my poor husband!)
Things got really busy at the end of last year and it's barely stopped, even with Winter closing in and making days shorter. And I'm so immensely proud of how far I've come, happy with where I am today & excited about the future.
I've poured hours into learning, refining and practicing photography. The beautiful part is that I'm still doing this every day. And I don't think it will ever stop, nor should it.
I mean, just a few months ago I was so scared to take on large family photoshoots, I even had on my website that I didn't do family sessions, and then I made myself. I told myself to stop being a coward and get over it. I did. I was nervous, I had a sleepless night before the shoot and then...I rocked it (if I do say so myself). And now? Family sessions are probably one of my favourite. That first shoot, I realised my photos may not be perfect studio posed arrangements but they hold emotion and they're real. I bring my personality and uniqueness to each session and I love taking lifestyle portraits & creating fun, natural images that showcase people's true selves, laughter and love.
Driving to work today I heard on the radio a clip from a speech Jim Carrey (of all people) gave to university students in Iowa last month and although I've heard the same point reiterated many ways by creatives, this morning driving to work it struck a chord with me. He spoke of how his father could have been a comedian but instead took a 'safe' job for a stable life (cough, accounting?! - why do people think accounting is safe & boring, it's actually a cool job if you do it right haha). Anyway.... when Jim was 12 years old his father lost that 'safe' job and their family struggled to get by. Jim took the chance as a comedian and is now a Golden Globe Award winning actor.
"So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality...I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love."
I believe it is so important to follow your heart. Don't let go of dreams and ideas because of fear. You WILL regret it.
Now that I have recognised this photography 'thing' is more than what I ever imagined it would be, I have consciously decided to embrace it and follow my heart. To stop worrying about not being good enough. My photography dreams include more portraits and weddings, to keep doing what I love and take each day as it comes.
I'm sure my dreams will change with time but I relish the idea that this will shape itself and grow naturally.
I know one thing; I'm not going to let fear of the unknown stop me. Not everything needs to be planned.
Just because I never imagined being where I am today doesn't mean it's a bad thing,
as long as I still love what I'm doing then it's the right thing.
Chase your dreams & do more of what you love.x