I haven’t come out and said it here, but as of January 2012, I am “officially” in business as a full-time photographer.
To be honest, it feels really vulnerable to write that (and say it to people) because of a few things.
1. What if I don’t make it?
Starting a business is far from easy! Although there are so many wonderful things that come with it, there is great responsibility and a requirement to be somewhat business-savy, which I would admit that I really struggle with that. On the bright side, I get to live out one of my passions in a creative and fulfilling way- what a gift that is! And I have many people to thank for that. Dan, my husband, has not only stuck with me but supported me (and put up with my chaos of working full-time, going to grad school, and trying to start a business). Without him, I would not be doing this…thank you, Daniel! My family, friends, and clients who have encouraged me by supporting me and some of you hiring me 🙂 And the many photographers and other artists I’ve looked to for inspiration, advice, and words of wisdom- many have (unknowingly) inspired me to keep going with it..regardless of fear.
2. What if people don’t take me seriously?
If you know me, you know that I’m someone who is always doing something. According to my parents, I’ve been that way since birth. Sometimes I see this as being adventures and wanting to live a full and meaningful life. And other times I recognize that I’m too busy- involving myself in too many “good” things, which often resorts to sacrificing the “best” for me and my husband. So sometimes I fear that people know know me will think “Oh this is just another one of her things she’s trying to do”.
3. What if I actually make it?
This just came to me and I’m reminded of some things I’ve read from some wise souls. (If you have a moment and want to read from one of my favorite photographer/artist/writer/wise soul, check out Sarah Rhoads here). Sometimes as humans, we can actually fear success. I’m not totally sure why, but I think it comes down to our view of ourselves. “Who am I to be great?” When Dan and I worked at a group home a few years back, we saw this in a more tragic way, but it makes me think about my own tendencies. Many of the teenagers whom we worked with at the Dale House were with us for months and we often saw great strides. They struggled as they learned what it was going to take for them to “emancipate” or live on their own after parole, but there were glimpses of hope along the way. Sadly, when many of the kids were about to be done and go off on their own, they would do something to get them sent back to jail. It was so hard for us as staff to understand- “Why would they do that!? They were so close….” Fear. The tragedy is that fear of the unknown can often be greater than fear of the known (even if it means jail!) One thing I’m grateful I have (which many of the kids didn’t) is incredible support of people around me, and my faith and trust that God goes before me in this. It makes a world of difference and when I’m tempted to sit in fear and not risk (for the greater good), I’m reminded that it’s worth it.
I’m wrestling with these ideas today and hoping that I continue walking forward in the face of any fear that comes up along this journey.
I’m so grateful for this adventure and thankful for so many who’ve gone before me and those walking with me, and the wisdom they’re willing to share.