I’m writing this to encourage others not to lose your love for photography, and maybe if you quit photography as your job, you can actually enjoy it again. Sometimes if you are around negative people, you will start to reflect that all the negative into parts your own life. Don’t let it consume you. I actually sat here contemplating for a long time if I should have written “professional” instead of professional. That’s how much this entire business as changed my confidence and belief in myself.
As some of you may have noticed, I am no longer offering my services to the public. Although I’ll still shoot for friends and family if they really need me to, I have decided to step away from the professional side of photography and go after the artistic projects that once used to inspire me to live life to the fullest. So many people were very discouraging in my many years of trying to own a business and others were overly supportive. I’m grateful for both kinds of people… NOW.
I never thought I was GREAT at my job, I just loved it and when you love something people can see that through your work. I knew and know there are a million other photographers more talented than I. I just wanted to create because creating made me feel alive. Little did I know that the photography world is not as beautiful as as I thought when I was 16 – over ten years ago. I have dreamed since I was young that someday I could be one of those photographers that was world renowned, but it didn’t take long for me to realize I am not the type of person to shove my ‘talent’ into other people’s faces.
I struggled with blogging and keeping up with social media…not because I didn’t know how or didn’t enjoy it, it was because I didn’t care how many LIKES I had or comments I received and I felt as if it was always a competition. If I wasn’t making it one, than I was never going to succeed. I know that’s not the case for many photographers, perhaps I just followed too many of them who made it that way. Yes, obviously I enjoyed when people liked my work, it’s always flattering , but that wasn’t why I posted. I wanted people to see my work as a story filled with emotion, documenting the whirlwind of time with a click of a button, but sometimes the stress of shooting weddings and eager clients asking if their pictures were done yet while I was also working full time and in school full time made me lose my love for photography.
Before I even officially opened my business, the photography plague had already started…I’m not exaggerating. Someone would tell someone that their cellphone Instagram filtered pictures were AMAZING and “Why aren’t you are photographer?” and then they would buy a camera and announce themselves as a photographer. Now you can find a photographer(talented or not) in a matter of seconds.
You could say I am bitter about the fact that they are way too many photographers popping up all over the place, and the truth is, I am. Not for the reasons you might think, however. I was never upset that people could be ‘stealing’ my business. I was upset because photography was therapeutic to me and I saw it being used as a way for others (not all) to make quick, easy cash. I realized that it wasn’t a business I wanted to own. Maybe I’m not cut out for it because I don’t have the confidence in myself or perhaps I just never loved it like I thought, at least in the business aspect. All I know for a fact is that the one thing that had always made me de-stress was becoming the reason I was stressed. That’s not how I ever wanted to live my life.
Then it came to me, I love photography as art NOT a job. I’ve finally come to this conclusion and my indecisive heart is surprisingly content with it. I know for some people, they can feel that it is both art and job, but for me photography was always my my way to escape and heal which became an integral part of my melancholy journey through my life. Owning a photography business crushed that peaceful feeling I once had when I created a photograph that mirrored my inner feelings.
Although I could say so much more about the pros and cons of my short lived life as a professional photographer, I am just happy that I can admit that it’s not the life for me. I never wanted to be professional photographed; I just wanted to create. The bitterness towards others has left. I have removed myself from the negative online forums that brought me down. Now I can do what actually makes me happy.
For the future, I am finishing up some weddings this summer that I am super excited about because they are with aaaamazing couples! I will also continue to post projects after this. I feel that I will be able to share my work more openly when I don’t NEED to. I have been finishing my degree in Visual Arts and although I’m still not sure where it will take me from this point when it comes to a career(I’m leaning towards a Masters in Counseling with a concentration in Art Therapy), I do know that it has strengthened my ability to interpret art in a whole different way and I look forward to see how it inspires my photography projects as time goes on. I look ahead with a full heart to finding my way and staying true to myself.
Thank you again to all my wonderful supporters and clients over the years. You are beautiful. Stay true to YOURSELF.
Nikole contacted me years and years ago to do a shoot however our schedules never allowed us to get together. I guess we should be glad we were too busy back then, however, because NOW she writes a fashion blog and I was able to do some shots of a few outfits. Make sure you check her blog http://www.nikoledebellbeauty.com/ to learn where she got her clothes. She updates quite regularly and has fabulous fashion sense and beauty advice!!
It was so great to meet with Lance and Elyse. Unfortunately our first session got rained out (oh, Pittsburgh) and so we rescheduled the rest at the fountain at Point State Park — so I see the rain as a blessing because we then got to have two amazing locations! These are some of my favorites…
E & C also took advantage of my $90 engagement session deal. These are some of my favorite shots from the day.Read More...
I photographed Becki and Mark’s wedding in 2012 and this is my first time seeing them since. It was great to meet their newest addition and see their other two boys again. You guys are awesome!!Read More...