While I was at Click Away (a photography conference) last year there was a keynote speaker, Joy Prouty, who gave a talk titled “Dream Big”. I didn’t realize that this would impact my life as much as it did, but I am so thankful that it did. During that heartfelt talk she asked “when was the last time you wanted to do a handstand in the setting sun for no other reason than your heart can’t stand still?” I wrote down those words, and I questioned, when was the last time I felt that way, and I can honestly say it has been WAY too long.
I am a passionate human being, I feel things deeply and greatly, and I hadn’t been feeling complete joy with my photography in a long time; not because I didn’t want to, or because I was in a depression, but because things were getting in the way. I was worried about what people were doing on facebook, did they “like” my picture, did I lose a facebook “fan”, is that photographer better than me? We have grown into a society that relies on social media for more than just communication but it has seeped into our self importance and our esteem. I wish I could say that I changed that day but habits are hard to break, and I went home with a new outlook from Click Away and vowed I would change and become more authentic in my photography. I went home and made some small changes and thought I had it all figured out. HA! Silly me!
Inside I continued to have this nagging feeling that something just wasn’t the way it was supposed to be with my photography. Maybe if I only had a new lens, or another camera body, or different photoshop actions I would feel better about it. I just knew something wasn’t right.
In January I took a break to have surgery and thought that the break would allow me to return with fresh eyes and a new outlook. It didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to get back to photography but I just felt like it was still missing something and I couldn’t figure out what it was and that was beyond frustrating. In March I saw that Joy Prouty, the same one who inspired me so much six months prior, would be in NY giving a photography workshop. I debated about going, stupid I know. I signed up.
This workshop was last week. I came home different. Joy shared her knowledge of lighting and camera settings, and editing and that was great and valuable, but what I really needed and what she gave me was my soul. You see the thing that had been missing from my photography was ME. It was missing me being authentic and trusting myself enough to capture my clients as they are. It was missing me giving them my truth so they coud in turn let me view and capture theirs.