some really good conversations lately have been taking place. the last few months i have been doing a lot more mentor sessions which is always refreshing for me too! getting back to the root of why you create & what stirs you up in your business. how to grow and continue to stay in front of your clients. this thought has brought more conversation between me and my husband. talking about social media and the pull to keep up & stay active. not putting all my focus on one tool, but at the same time it does bring me business. the ability to curate my images in a way thats easy for someone to get a quick idea of what i am about & what i do isn’t something to ignore.
we were talking about the platform it provides. then the photography industry as a whole. this massive mountain that moves and shifts together. trying to keep up with the latest trend, what’s getting noticed, featured, etc. he brought up such a good point, “do you even know who is behind these feature accounts?” who are these people that are setting the standard for what’s “in/out”?
i remember still the feelings i felt when i first started. looking every direction to try and find my way into the world I wanted to be part of so badly. extreme ups and downs just trying to fit in.
the truth is.
i do care about followers and likes.
i do look for approval from my peers.
comments do mean something to me.
to pretend that i don’t care would be a lie, it just cannot be my meter.
the comparison game is a dangerous road. i am seeing more and more of those in my industry going through deep feelings of failure, questioning their why, feeling unsuccessful in not keeping up with this “bar” that honestly who the hell decided where this bar would be placed anyway?
running a business is hard. you grind and do what it takes to survive. many small business owners don’t even take home an income for the first 3-5 years! supplementing their income to try and survive does not mean failure.
i honestly think the way to move past & forward is to first step back. asking yourself who are you even competing with? in order for you to feel success, what must take place? healthy competition is good. i have goals for myself, because i want to achieve them. But succeeding does not mean stepping on the person next to me to get there. trying to “one-up” my competition, speaking negatively of them on how they run their business, what they charge, etc. does nothing for me.
i may be in the same industry but if I focus to much on “them” i will never find me. I will never be able to fully give of myself to my clients and my work. i will be exhausted, uninspired and ready to quit.
what ignites my spirit is the people that this job has brought and continues to bring into my life. my role in this is to make room for a couple to reconnect. even if only for an hour together, they are able to take a break and truly see each other. I am just a witness as it all unfolds. he kisses her cheek, she looks up at him, a gentle sweep of his hand on hers, a tender smile as he pulls her close and she lays her head on his chest.
this is what I am after, and only then have i done my job.
the photos we make are merely the result.