This post may be titled Ten Things I Have Learned From Being A Photographer, but there are actually many more than ten things that being a photographer has taught me. I am blessed beyond words that God gave me this gift, because this gift… the gift of photography… has opened my eyes about so many things outside of the photography world! Life lessons, blessings, relationships, love, honor, friendship, parenting, even planning financially! WOW! I truly hope that all photographers pause for a moment and stop to think about how photography has helped them to grow as a person.
This is part two of two. If you missed part one, you may want to start here!
Ten Things I Have Learned From Being A Photographer: (Part 2)
5. Pay Attention: All of my life I have gone day in and day out just walking in and out of my house, living life, without really stopping to pay attention to the details surrounding me. I would venture to guess that most people are like this. But once I became a photographer I started studying details of details of details. It is like my own little world of Inception. I evaluate the way the sun shines through a cloud. I see light naturally reflecting off of a sidewalk or a wall. Shadows and reflections are obvious. The way someone walks, or the way they carry themselves are noticeable. I see now that everyone has a story to tell. The old man pushing the shopping cart down the street in downtown Nashville is no longer a nuisance. He is a man with a story… one in which I want to know!
4. Stay In Control: One of my biggest challenges after becoming a professional photographer was to stay in control of my business and not allow it to take over my life. Many photographers will have many different ideas on what works best, but I think ultimately everyone is different. For me the recipe of staying in control is a HUGE calendar, daily to-do lists, specific work hours, strict schedules, and outsourcing. I think it was Jasmine Star who said it best. “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” This is a new concept that I have placed into my business, and I can’t tell you how liberating it feels. However I must be honest and tell you that the discipline to stick to my schedule is still something I struggle with at times.
3. Keep Going: Becoming a professional photographer was not easy, but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever experienced. I have learned to chase my dreams and to live life! I wake up every morning thrilled to start out my day and excited to see what life has in store! I am not stuck in a 9-5 job that stifles my creativity or time. I am in control and I get to make up my own rules as I go along. How right is THAT?! But every now and then, things get hard. I may be working in my dream job, but it is still a job. There are always things that will come your way that are not pleasant, and I have learned to just keep going. I have learned to overcome doubt, fear, and any other anxiety that may come my way.
2. Stay Humble: Another thing that I have learned from being a photographer is to stay humble! If I have learned anything about myself it is this: I am truly blessed with more blessings than I deserve! I truly believe that my talent is a gift that has been LOANED to me by God. This gift is not mine to claim. It is God’s gift that He allows me to use in order to also bring honor and glory to Him. It is important for me to stay humble because He could take my gift away as easily as He gave it to me. I also know that I am not an expert in this industry! And I am always learning from others who are willing to share. Therefore I believe that it is important for me to share with others if they choose to learn from me. After all… I would never want to hinder others from finding the blessings that they, too, may get from learning about life through a camera.
1. Ignore Negativity: I have always been the type of person who sees the world in rainbows and butterflies. I want everyone to be happy and I want to buy the world a coke, and sing in perfect harmony! A very difficult lesson to learn is to ignore the haters. When I first started out as a photographer, I would get really down on myself anytime I received a comment or email from someone who didn’t like what I was doing or saying. But I have learned that there is no way to make everyone happy. And unfortunately some people just don’t know how to keep their negativity to themselves. I’m not really sure why some people feel the need to try to break down people’s spirits… but it happens. And I have had to learn how to ignore them. I have actually learned to realize that I am truly following God’s plan for my life, and haters are simply trying to trip me. My friend Gabrielle Bass said it best! “Do not let people take you to the devil level!” Thanks Gabrielle! On that note… I will share something with you that can truly change the way you allow others to effect you. I saw this when it first hit the internet, but another beautiful friend, Julie Story, reminded me to watch it again. Thanks Julie. And Thanks Jasmine!
What about you? What has being a photographer taught you?