Rewind about 2 years ago at this time. I had just dove into this dream of photography, unknowing of my actually desires of becoming a photographer. I fell into it the summer after I graduated with my undergraduate degree and got married. Little did I know, God would open a door or two and show me the desires of my heart.
Along the way, God has also shown me a few nasty, ugly characteristics within my heart that have been revealed through this incredible passion, as well. And I’m thankful for it.
The Dirtiness Inside
A few months after I started photography, I was overcome with a prideful spirit. Which…if you ask me, I’d say this was crazy, because most people starting out are just…not incredible at their trade! And I wasn’t! But for whatever reason, I felt that my work was the bomb.com. This ugly, prideful spirit led me to compare my work to other local and national photographers I came across over Facebook. As I mentioned, I hadn’t been taking pictures for more than a couple months, so I easily began to feel jealous.
I was jealous at where they were in their photography journey. I was jealous at what they were doing in their business. And I was jealous of their creative and beautiful work.
And then it hit me. This jealousy turned into a nasty comparison game. As quick as I was to become jealous about their photographs above mine, I was quicker to point out the areas I was (apparently) better.
Here me out on this one, because I sound as crazy as it is. And I’m starting to wonder if more photographers also struggle with this when they’re first starting out.
The struggle was real, and I felt this jealous and comparative nature bearing weight on me and my joy within photography. Instead of “liking” other photographer’s posts, I would quickly pick out what they did wrong, in my eyes. I would put negative thoughts in my mind and build myself up. When in reality, I was not as experienced as they were, and I was immature in my photography knowledge.
My Heart Changed.
I quickly felt the weight of what my heart was producing, and I decided to change.
And I truly feel that this is what changed my photography business, as well.
From then on, I encouraged myself with uplifting quotes and truth on comparison and jealousy. I saw the hard work, brilliance and beauty in other’s photography work online. I began to encourage those locally and outside of Las Cruces. I created friendships from other photographers in Las Cruces and began to grow my knowledge through them. This was so beneficial to me.
Not only did I cherish many of these friendships, but I was able to learn from them, receive referrals from them and send referrals their way.
My Business Grew
This quickly led me to realize that growth is so much more exponential when you’re a lover, encourager and open book.
I stunted my business’ growth more when I was in my negative, jealous shell than when I stepped out and created relationships and was encouraged.
I think that’s one reason why I absolutely love sharing with other photographers. I love to be an open book as much as time allows me, and I love to host workshops for photographers with the same yearning as I had and still have.
So if there’s one thing I can share with you: open your boundaries, encourage and see the beauty in the work around you.
I’m thankful this passion of mine has shown me not only the desires of my heart but the dirty, grungy areas that need addressing, as well. I have a feeling that these won’t be the last ugly characteristics that’ll need adjusting.
As for now, I’m finally to a place where I’m content enough in my work to not be swayed by looking at other photographer's work. I know my style, my drive, my passion, and I’ll keep improving just like anyone who sticks with something and continues to gain experience. That's the art of this trade. There is continual learning and humbling. And I’m totally content with who I am in my business right now.
I hope all of you can reach this point, and perhaps, reach it sooner than I did!
What shells can you break out of to create a healthier heart and view of where you are in life?