Y'all. For the last several weeks I have wondered if this is my real life. Have I really been having as much fun shooting as I have? Or was I going to wake up and it was all a dream?
Words cannot really express how I feel these days. Joyous. Excited. Passionate. Enthralled. They all seem to fall short of how I feel. Since the beginning of the year, and the time that I decided to start making my own destiny again....life has been so much brighter.
"Stop doing things that don't make you happy."
Seriously. It really is that easy. And it is also really that hard. It's hard to turn down money when you know you are trying to pay for your big shiny new house, and your kids extracurricular activities, and all that extra mess. But, at the same time it is absolutely LIBERATING. There is so much power in the word "No." Not a malicious no...a no which really means yes. Yes to spending more time at home. Yes to being able to make ALL practices and games for my kids. Yes to going out of town for a competition and not having to worry about having to miss for a wedding. Yes to being present in my kids lives. My husband's life. Heck, even my dog's life. It's saying YES to being able to go to Sunday lunch at my Grandmother's to spend time with my family and not having to rush off. Sometimes these yes's are so much more important than the one that would be agreeing to do something that I didn't really want to. And, for once in about 5 years...I am finally in such a happy place. I am ridiculously enamored.
It has and IS somewhat scary making a leap of faith. Taking your business into a whole new realm...deciding to do something that really isn't offered in this neck of the woods. Something different, and out of the box of the photographers in the area. Not better, or worse, just different. The photography community here in East Texas is strong, lots of amazing photographers, lots of beautiful artists. And every single one of them is different in one way or another. But, when you kinda lean in a whole new way....ie darker more moody edits, more colorful and rich than your peers....you worry people will not like what you have to offer. Worried that they will not book, and they will not like your work. Because, as much as we all preach that we don't care what people think about it, we still do...somewhere deep down. I love making art that speaks to me and makes me happy, but there's also an air of worry that people will not understand, or think it's terrible. All my photog friends know what I am talking about when we don't get validation through comments on our stuff! Don't lie, you know you feel the same way! 😂
I used to be a "prop snob". And I hid behind the "I think they cheapen the photograph" and "I think they take away from my subject" excuses for a long time. Well, those excuses are both valid...and they can both happen...however, props done RIGHT can make magic. In the best way. Don't get me wrong, I do still love a simple portrait. I love capturing those. But, I am glad I decided that because some photographers in the world think it's stupid to do themed minis, or use props, or edit like I have been, that I don't HAVE to follow their rules. They are meant to be broken, and sometimes they completely hold you back. Sometimes being crazy is way more fun.
So, I have spent a lot of time photographing my girls, my friends kids, and some people willing to take a chance lately. This time of year is kinda slow, and I am hoping that is the reason people don't want to do my fun Minis 😂 But, I have even ventured out into trying a lens that I said I would NEVER use for portrait photography, and called anyone who did CRAZY. And, I am literally obsessed. It has taken my shooting to the next level. And I am so glad I decided to do something that might not work, and let it work it's magic on me. Cheers to growing and learning as a photographer and an artist for the rest of 2018....I can't wait to see where I am in a year.
And for making it that far....here are a few of my recent faves with my new fave lens....😍😍👍🏻