For some reason completely unknown to me, I always grew up with this image of the “right” thing to do after university. An image of studying hard, doing internships, leaving university with an amazing degree, a CV full of impressive experience and having no trouble whatsoever finding a 9-5 job.
I always knew, deep down, that that image of the “right” thing to do, although it is the right thing for some, was not the right thing for me. Even though I felt that it wasn’t for me, I still tried to convince myself that somehow it was. I knew that I loved photography, but I didn’t want to run the risk of going against the norm. I didn’t want to break the mold. To be honest, I was scared.
Anyways, to make a long story short, my love and passion for photography grew and grew and grew and grew into an obsession. I spent basically all of my free time reading about photography online, or in books, learning different techniques and trying to find new ways to look at the world, looking at other photographers work etc etc..
My mom would frequently bring it up in conversation – talking about the option of becoming a professional photographer. Her philosophy is – do what you love. She’d constantly ask me, “What are you so afraid of? Just do it! You have nothing to lose!” To which I would reply something along the lines of, “I don’t know”, “No one would pay me to take pictures”, “I’ve never studied photography, therefore I don’t really know what I’m doing”, “My photography isn’t good enough”, “It’s not a stable job, it’s freelance work, and I don’t know if I can deal with not knowing when the next pay cheque is coming in” … etc etc.
I would find excuse after excuse as to why I should not do photography, but at the end of the day it came down to one thing – my fear of failure.
Somehow, between then and now, things have drastically changed for me. I don’t know what the pivotal point or the defining moment was, but somehow over this summer I began looking at the way I think about this in a whole new way.
I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY. It is my art, it allows me to create, it brings me so much joy… and if anyone can do this – it’s me. There is nothing holding me back from being successful in this business. And if I fail, so what? .. I’ll try again. and again. and again. I have nothing to lose. Maybe one day my love for photography will die, and who knows – maybe the typical 9-5 job will be for me… but until then, this is what I want to devote all my time to and this is what I want to succeed in. The important thing is that I’m making steps (although they may be baby steps) towards achieving my dream and that, although I’m still a little bit scared, I’m overcoming my fear.
Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped me to get to the point where I am now, you all know who you are. But a special thanks to my wonderful family – Mom, Dad, Lizzie: You are always there to encourage me, support me, and push me to succeed. I know that these are the baby steps of my business, but to me, they have been the most important. It was so hard for me to force myself forward and put myself out there, but now I feel like it’s all coming together, and I would be no where without the three of you. Thank you for your never ending support, the three of you are like my backbone.
If anyone is reading this, I encourage you to do what you love. Whether it is photography, or basketball, window cleaning, or law. We all have fears and doubts, but they are not impossible to overcome. And if you fail – who cares? You’ll have a more interesting story to tell ;).
Things that helped inspire me:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs – ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
“Failure breeds success!!”
The Beatles got turned down by multiple record companies before they were signed. Imagine if they just gave up and went home.
PS, Sorry if you don’t hear from me for a while, I’m off to the land of no internet.