I look back at 2014 with a surreal sense of growth. Only one year ago, I was walking across the stage receiving two degrees from Flagler College with two years of experience as a photographer and photojournalist. After spending two months abroad in Southeast Asia, I came home with a lot of work ahead of me. It was my first year working as a full-time photographer— no more side jobs keeping me afloat— and I have to admit I was afraid.
But what was I really afraid of? Not making ends meet? The competition? The tax burden? A dissatisfied client? Yes, all of these things kept me up at night but I have realized throughout the year that my biggest fear was (and is) not reaching my own, personal creative standards. It is both a blessing and a burden to be a perfectionist but as I get older, I see this "not good enough" mindset can be unproductive and irrational.
It's unproductive because putting yourself down doesn't make you work harder. It's irrational because nothing is ever good enough because nothing is ever perfect. I read a good quote earlier this year:
Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham
This is what drives photographers, painters, designers and sculptors (among many other artists) to keep creating because with every piece produced, a new lesson is learned. A new light is seen. A new location is found. Every wedding I shoot, lessons are learned. Every boudoir session I shoot, I learn a new way to show the beauty of a woman's body. It is such a blessing to be working in a field where education is constant—a field where I am forced to adjust and readjust to the different locations, light and people. I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, to make a long story short, I decided that this year (and for those to come) I will give myself some credit. The credit that a 23-year-old should give herself that is working as a young professional in a field with an inconsistent income and constant provisions. I give myself credit for following my passion, picking up my camera every week and deciding I will make this my career. After all, seeing my clients excitement after they receive their images is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
I look forward to the months ahead. I have exciting plans of travel and a dozen amazing weddings lined up in the Southeast. I thank you all (clients, family, friends, followers) for being part of this journey. I am incredibly thankful for the support I am given each day.
I'll leave this last piece with each of you: Be humble, give yourself the credit you deserve and always share your gifts with the world.
Happy New Year,
What you've been waiting for—here are some of my favorite moments from 2014!