Finding your own path…

So I actually started writing this blog a year ago but never had the guts to finish it. Who was I to say anything about jumping into the world of freelance photography when I had only just leaped. I left it but never deleted it thinking maybe one day I’d come back to it and here I am. The original blog I wrote a year ago with a few revisions.

Like many people I know 2015 was kind of shitty and I spent much of 2016 rebuilding myself, growing and learning. I want to start off by thanking everyone who has played a part in helping me through the last two years and anyone who has supported my crazy dreams. For real though, it was a team effort. I had spent countless nights contemplating selling all my gear and finding a new path.  But I couldn’t forget about the countless hours and effort I had already put in working on my craft. Breaking into the freelance world for any artist is terrifying and daunting task but it’s worth the jump.

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In 2012, I had graduated with a BFA in Photography and spent the last 5 years trying to juggle working full or part-time jobs and a freelance career that seemed like it would never take off. I was tired of watching others grow while I felt like I was standing still. So when the opportunity arose for a paid trip to Greece for 1 month, I had to take it.  I worked part-time in retail at the time and I would be leaving during peak season so the choice would come with a consequence. I wouldn’t be able to leave my position during one of the busiest times of the year fir that long but at this point I knew what I had to do. As much as I enjoyed working there, how often would I be asked to shoot a wedding in Greece, and spend a month travelling for free? I was extremely excited and nervous at the same time. I knew I didn’t want to come back and work retail again but I didn’t have many freelance gigs lined up so I didn’t know how I would pay my bills. As terrifying as it was, I knew this was a chance to clear my mind and figure out where to go from there.

I knew full well I was leaving with no safety net to return to. I grabbed my camera and with $100 in my pocket and a willingness to live life as it came I boarded the plan with hopes of remembering what I loved about shooting in the first place.

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And boy, was it worth it.

I explored the streets of Athens, Perama, Porto Xeli and Mani for a month. New places and places I remembered from my childhood. This was my 4th time back since I was 6 years old but my first time taking it all in from behind the lens. It was nice not feeling like a tourist, although I know I looked out of place with my big camera I still felt at home. I photographed a wedding and a baptism while I was there (I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous) and had lined up a few more shoots for when I got back. The time to clear my mind had worked and I knew what I wanted to focus on.

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Photographers often talk about a moment. Capturing the moment. The moment it clicks. The decisive moment. The moment where intuition and spontaneity meet. It’s a gut reaction we have to a fleeting moment. We have the need to capture that thing, exactly as it is, in that exact spot, at that exact time because it will never be the same ever again. This is why I had grabbed a camera. Because images by masters like Weegee and Henri Cartier Bresson are imprinted in my brain. A photograph, is the only thing that has ever left me speechless. That is my only goal as a photographer, to capture moments that evoke emotion. 

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I had seen it at least a dozen times, people losing their drive, from classmates to coworkers and that’s what was happening to me. Maybe it’s because of a poor education system, an unfulfilling job or a detrimental relationship that has you doubting yourself, but whatever the reason, we are our own worst critics. And that’s when I realised I had to change my train of thought. I always believed I had to have another job just in case my photography didn’t do well. But I wasn’t even giving myself a chance, my time and attention were constantly divided, I was a mess. So this trip was a blessing in disguise.

A year later I can truly say you have to give your dreams a chance or they’ll never have the opportunity to flourish. Can you really say you gave it your all if you give up?

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On top of my own event photography, I assist wedding studios on the weekends (which takes up a lot of my social time, sorry friends) and am able to set my schedule to revolve around my music photography. Being able to work for myself has given me the chance to focus on improving my skills, take on creative shoots and pursue greater tasks.

I know it sounds cliche but Alexander Graham Bell once said “When one door closes another door opens.” And it did.

Don’t get me wrong, this ain’t all peaches and cream, there’s still a lot to learn, But I’m only just getting started and I’m so excited for the challenge.

No matter what path you’re on in life, what I’ve learned is that you have to be your own cheerleader. There are enough people in this world who will think and speak poorly of you, so why are you adding yourself to that list? Positivity is infectious so surround yourself will people who support you.

If it wasn’t for finding The Photo Ladies, joining their community last year and seeing all these inspirational woman and amazing photographers pursuing their dreams, I may have never thought I could do it.

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My hope for all of you for the remainder of 2017 is to have the courage to pursue your dreams. Figure out what you’re passionate about, find your drive and when you do, don’t let it die. Make the jump, trust yourself and your abilities. Once you believe in yourself, you open yourself up to greater opportunities each and every day. Never doubt the time and effort you have put into perfecting your craft. They say it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to excel in your field, so why give up now?

Thank you for reading this, despite being super wordy & cheesy I hope you enjoyed and I hope you find whatever it is that makes you happy.

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