I like to be peppy... I try to be the optimist and encourager and yet at times I fail miserably. Yep, you guessed it, I am human! Being a human means that I have lots of room for error and also lots of room for growth. It is a beautiful thing called LIFE that God gives us each and every day of our whisked away lives. When Christen and I first began Sassyfras Studios, it was with a leap of faith and alot of prayer... it was with giving away free photoshoots and jumping up and down when someone complimented our images... it was with alot of hard work AND alot of encouragement from fellow photogs around the world.
Lets go back in time 2 years... I will never forget showing my pathetic *and boy were they pathetic* images to Lawrence Chan of Furious Photographers. Looking back on those images, I would be appalled for him to see them again. But, for whatever reason, he reached out to me. He encouraged me more than once and told me to go for it whole heartedly. He even welcomed me to LA for a cup of coffee and tips in shooting any time I wanted. It kept me going and believing in myself. Honestly, anyone in their right minds would have looked at those images I sent him and laughed or even shook their head in amazement of how crazy I was to believe that I had even a tiny bit of talent in photography, but that was not him. I do not know anything about him but I know that he has the gift of encouragement.
Now lets jump ahead to today... No, Sassyfras Studios has not even come CLOSE to arriving in this business... Every day we talk about ways to make ourselves better, stretch ourselves, learn from others. I will say that I am no longer ashamed to show chan my images but I still know I have so much work to do and so much I can gain from within myself and my dreams.
The past two weeks have been so sad to me. I have seen so many photographers all over the web bashing one another... laughing at other peoples pictures and discouraging people. Those photographers may not have the best equipment or knowledge of lighting... they may not use the most flattering poses or your favorite type of editing... BUT, they have a dream. They have something inside of them that says, *Hey, I LIKE this and I want to try it out!* I am so glad that when a child plays with the game operation, we do not laugh at them and tease that they could never be a surgeon. I am so thankful that when someone gives their first speech in communications class, we do not point fingers and say that they will never be an international journalist... and I am glad that we did not jest when people had the desire to fly to the moon.
Stop your negativity and just let these people fly! Give them the chance that someone gave you! If you feel that you are at the point in your career that you can laugh at other peoples dreams then you obviously have perfected the art of photography. I for one am still growing and pray that I will never be that person. And, I ask anyone reading this to remind me if my pride ever gets too big that I forget that we all have dreams and it is MY job to encourage others.
For all you growing photographers like myself, keep flying high and chasing whatever inspires you... Do not give up if someone is low enough to put you down. We were all given a beautiful purpose in life and I pray that you will grab ahold of yours and never let go. Listen to the words of this song or find them here from the movie tangled...
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