I was reading my 2014 highlights on my old blog that doesn't exist online anymore and it hit me quite hard how much has changed in the past year for me. I've had such a beautiful year, with honestly *the best* clients. If you go through every blog post I wrote out, every single couple I photographed have trusted me completely, and welcomed me in like family on their days, and when I say "family" I literally mean "family". Mother of the brides hugged me and kissed me like one of their daughters, the brides sat down with me and told me all about their fears and excitement, the grooms chose to be vulnerable and loving in front of what people would consider a stranger, and they all treated what I do with utter respect, love and appreciation. I'll forever have a special connection with each and every one of them. I'm also forever grateful and humbled that they chose me to photograph such a special day in their lives.
*click on the image if you want to see full blog post of any of the following weddings/shoots*
I only pray that my next year is as good as last year, if not better and that I meet more couples that open their hearts and homes to a photographer who just wants to document love in all shapes and forms. SO, here are a few thoughts I would like to leave behind in the new year.
1. I love what I do, but I only truly feel the passion and love for it when I see people breaking down their walls and being completely vulnerable to themselves, each other and the world. It's kind of why I fell in love with shooting weddings. They're one of the few time people open up their hearts to what they truly feel, and they usually do not hold back knowing that these photographs will be seen by strangers, family and closest friends.
2. Just like in any relationship, it takes both my clients and I to open up about parts of us that not everyone hears about. My will to open up about my life is quite a straining part of my job. While I love maintaining a professional relationship because it's easier, it doesn't give me the same satisfaction of when I truly learn precious aspects of being a human being. I've learned the hard way that people will not welcome you into their hearts, unless you are willing to welcome them into yours.
3. I have a long way to go. I won't sit here and tell you that I'm an expert at what I do. If I were, this would be quite boring to me. The vision I have of myself is quite far ahead, I don't know when I'll reach it, or how I'll get there. However, there is so much I want out of photography, so many ideas and possibilities. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed just from how much I want to do. Only time and hard work will bring these goals closer but I don't think I can ever stop until I do.
4. This is much harder than it looks. I have come to find that being a photographer has been one of the most straining tasks I've ever took on. Both mentally and physically. It's easy to get wrapped up with the business side of things, so I find myself a lot of times, pulling myself back and distinguishing my goals again and again. Aside from the emotional investment into your own business, there are meetings, countless emails that may or may not get you anywhere, finances, deadlines, days of editing, and so much more. A lot of times, I just wanted to give up, get a stable desk job, but I didn't because this is the only thing I know I want to do. I get back up, and I try again.
5. Being an entrepreneur comes with a specific life style, this year has been a year of me accepting that life style and planning my future having that in mind. My job in a lot of ways will define me, it will be my medium to connect and meet people, but it will also be my source of income, my career that I build up on my own terms. So I have to tread carefully in the decisions I make, the ways I shoot, the clients I take in, and whatever falls under "decision making."
I wish everyone a happy new year, with many new experiences and beautiful memories! Thank you for any support you've given me and I hope I see you around in the new year!