When you know something in your head it lingers and it taunts you. It says to you “nahhh, you actually DO love doing this” or “you’ve always done it, why would you stop now?”
Your mind will try to talk you out of things that your heart wants. It will try to discount the needs of your heart.
But when you know something in your heart…and you KNOW there is no other option or no other way it hits you like a bag of bricks to your face. It grabs you by the shoulders and it shakes you and it yells “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”. Your heart knows. Your mind is rational but your heart KNOWS what you truly want.
I’ve been photographing people professionally for 4.5 years now. My joy has changed…it’s been redirected. I used to find extreme joy in photographing people’s most beautiful creations (their kids). I used to love posing families and capturing their love during the holidays. This was part of who I was as a photographer. Last year I booked 53 family sessions in a month and a half. 53.
THIS YEAR- 17. Seventeen families. 35 less families than last year. What happened? I was SO upset for about a week about this…devastated even. Why was I not booking as quickly as last year? Weren’t people seeing that my work was BETTER than last year? Isn’t anyone seeing how much i’ve grown as a photographer?
Then it hit me…I was in the car driving to my first day of holiday mini sessions filled with people I didn’t know, ones that probably didn’t even care to know me as anything but their photographer. This isn’t what I want. I don’t want to speak to someone 3 times back and forth in an email, meet them somewhere, send them digital files and then never hear from them again. I want to create an experience for them, I want them to know who I am and why I do what I do and I want to know them just the same.
These days everything is so quick and fast and convenient. People need more for less and they need it now. I am not happy with that kind of work and I am tired of doing things that I feel like I NEED to do because i’ve done them for so long that it feels wrong to stop. I am tired of shooting things because i’m driven by the $ it makes me instead of that amazing, indescribable feeling you get when you open up your lightroom and your heart skips a beat because you just LOVE what you’ve created.
It’s terrifying to switch your focus from income to passion but it’s necessary if you want to be successful. SUCCESS IS DRIVEN BY PASSION, NOT BY DOLLAR SIGNS. When you love something it shows. When you love what you do, people are drawn TO you. When you love what you create the money follows. Don’t be afraid to stop doing something that doesn’t keep your heart beating. Don’t be afraid.
Orange County Boudoir, Lifestyle, Fitness & Business Photographer