I’ve never been the kind of person to create for the sake of creating or photograph for photography’s sake. I had to have a purpose. That’s why four years ago I jumped headfirst into this business, without the slightest heck of an idea what I was doing. I was clueless, but I loved photography and I had to have a reason to do it. I dived in, made many mistakes, learned, improved, and made just enough money to cover my costs in this great “self-taught learning experience.” And developed tenacity. And strength to keep going, keep pursuing my dream, no matter how foolish I looked sometimes or how discouraged I got. And I grew. I truly became an artist.
Looking back now would I change that process? No, I don’t think so. Sure I wish I had taken the easy way out and gone to school, but from what I’ve learned in the industry, even photography school wouldn’t have prepared me to run a successful business. That’s another learning curve all its own! And most likely upon graduation I would have deflated like a balloon if success didn’t come immediately. To be a self-employed “service” provider is tough business. There is no guaranteed pay check, there is no predictable routine, there are no guarantees. You are it.
Today I love what I do. I love it when I’m riding a high after a fantastic photo session, I love it when I’m meeting clients, I love it when I’m working on my brand and vision and the “used-to-be-dreaded finances,” I even love it when my email inbox is empty and nothing’s lined up until the summer wedding season starts. I’ve tried to image a job that would be better. I’ve sat down and imagined myself in other positions. But honestly, nothing fits me better. I love customer service and I LOVE creating something that I am proud of. I love being an artist. And I love running a business.
I wouldn’t be in this position today without that journey of needing to have a purpose to create. So whatever it is that you love doing, don't disqualify yourself because you think it needs to look a certain way or happen in a specific order. Sometimes there's beauty in just diving in.