Self-reflection & mindset work have become a big part of how I create and run my business. Otherwise, why would I be infusing time into my work without a defined purpose? I’ve been drawn to photography every since I was introduced to it in High School. I loved the creativity and the calm it provided me (Developing my film was SO relaxing – I sure miss that! Now I find calm creating my editing styles.).
I also went to college for photography (CSUF) and learned about the various facets of being a photographer – photojournalism, studio, portrait, editorial, etc. It wasn’t until one class in my senior year at Cal State Fullerton where I was asked to produce my final project based on a theme. I don’t know why, but this STUMPED me. When I went to present this final project to my peers and professor (after seeing some really specific themes) I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “you know what, I wanted to produce a studio session based simply on beauty.” Because beauty is what I wanted to photograph – always. The theme didn’t go over well with my professor, but I really didn’t care. I knew what I wanted my final project to be and it made me happy.
Fast forward a lot of years later (ummm like 11-12!), and when I think about photography I still envision beauty.
While quarantine has not been ideal for several reasons, it has been awesome on a few levels. First, it has given me the opportunity to listen to podcasts more regularly, to read more about photography and my industry, and to work on my personal and professional mindsets. It has tasked me to dig deep and ask myself the hard questions in effort to open myself up for more. More growth, more positivity, more, more more! During this time of podcasts, books and articles, one question kept popping up. What is your WHY? Why do you do what you do? Why are you the way you are? So much WHY. So I decided to listen to what kept being asked and attempt to answer it for myself (on a deeper level than the obvious reasons for doing what I do and starting a business).
Thinking back to that college class, beauty is what kept coming to mind. But why? Why is beauty so important to me? And after several pages of scribbling out my thoughts, I believe I have come to a solution which can be summed up as this:
My mission is to create beauty and to empower others to see how beautiful they are. To document my clients looking and feeling their best and to guide them in effort to produce the best imagery possible. To curate their best moments. I want to set the standard that we each are beautiful, unique and we have the power to be unstoppable, to feel worthy, accepted, acknowledged and confident. I have this business so I can share this beauty, to produce my own style of art, to set new industry standards, to exceed my own expectations and to be a beam of positivity. I want to educate others on the value of a great photographer and what gifts they contribute to society.
I believe all of the above with my whole heart. At my core I am a perfectionist (both a blessing and a curse, I will tell ya!), and it has taken me a lot of work to appreciate imperfection. To embrace who I am as an imperfect being. And photography has taught me how to appreciate the best elements of myself – and to warmly embrace the things my perfectionist self rips apart. To love wholeheartedly.
If I can share this message with others, to document them and show them how truly special they are and to make them feel empowered, then I think I will have accomplished what I set out to do. Furthermore, documenting my clients biggest milestones (wedding, first family portraits, taking the leap to do a boudoir session, getting engaged, and all of the other wonderful moments I get to witness) is such a gift. It means more to me than I could ever put into words. It makes me feel abundant and proud to tell their story thru my lens.
I have two final thoughts:
Please let your picture be taken. Revel in everything that makes you, YOU; and share your uniqueness with the world.
Also this thought came to mind as I was writing this post — kinda unrelated, but still a worthy sentiment…
Photography is a time capsule that will stay with us always – it truly is magic!
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