I have a pretty new white desk, perfectly organized with everything in it’s place. A bamboo plant rested in the right corner, green and inspiring with its climb. It brings good energy they say, (who’s they?). An antique clock without the battery is placed directly in front of me, with time standing still. Appropriate enough for how I feel, every April 17th. Time stops, I inhale, and the ability to exhale quickly leaves my mind lost and confused. I can’t breathe for just a moment.
It’s her birthday. The one who changed my life forever. The girl who stole my heart in an instant. The girl whom I held as she took her last breath.. That changes you. If you’ve just met me, you may not know of her, but you will. You see, I have 17 pages of her, to last me a lifetime. Her album flips just enough times to see a mother’s love, a mother’s sorrow and a loss, and then it ends. No pages to be added… Prints matter.
I was asked “What’s your why? Why portraits? Why prints?” Her. She’s my reason why. I lost my daughter in 2001, and while she wasn’t here for too long, she was here. I never want to forget that. I never want those around me to forget her. She was here, and she mattered. You know that question often asked “If the house was burning, what is that one item, you’d run back in to get?” It’s her album. I can’t replace these images. I don’t have the film, or the usb, this is it. It’s my everything. Stop hiding your images on drives that will be obsolete soon. Print your images, life will never be the same.
I’m so grateful for Kathy & Cat, without them, I’d have no images of her. The memories one day would begin to fade and I’d have nothing to see her face. Prints matter, and that’s why I changed how I do business in 2017. She is my WHY. She’s the reason years from now, your children will be able to flip through your albums, or pull out your heirlooms and see your face.
Happy Birthday Akaya. Never forgotten my love. I have 17 pages to last a lifetime.
17 pages of you, just isn’t enough…
For two years, I said “I’m no longer shooting weddings,” but I continued to book them. I knew I wanted to stop, but I was afraid of losing 85% of my income. How would I survive? Unlike many photographers, this is my full time career. It provides for my family, so walking away would mean I’d have to create a sustainable income somehow as an entrepreneur or get a JOB… and that was not happening.
October 2, 2016. I photographed a beautiful wedding in Charleston, SC, and as I was traveling home around midnight, it clicked, “This is really the last one.” I cried for a moment and it was as if God said, “I told you to trust me.” A feeling of peace came over me and in that moment, I knew, it would be ok.
It’s amazing how we can profess FAITH but we don’t walk in it. I know I am not the only one, but perhaps as always, the only one to admit it. He’d been saying “Trust Me” but every time I booked another wedding, I was saying, “I can’t.” What are you doing in your own life that contradicts what you believe? A week later, my orthopedic doctor said, ” You have to have knee surgery, and will be out for a minimum of 12wks.” What if I’d booked weddings already? Thank God for the lesson.
As I sit at my desk this morning, I am excited to say, “I am a portrait photographer.” I say that with such joy, because I get to touch lives everyday in a way, I never did with weddings. I watch their confidence shift right before my eyes. I listen to their stories, I see their tears, and I photograph their transformation. It pulls my heartstrings every single time.
So let’s talk the real deal…because I know you’re wondering. I’ve referred out 13 weddings so far in 2017, and I feel great about it. I’ve been able to bless other photographers with referrals, and at the same time, keep my word to myself. In doing so, HE has kept his. I’m tracking to do more in portrait sales than I did with weddings in 2016. When I look at the numbers, it’s this feeling of “Wow, and here I was not believing in ME.” Ask yourself, “What if?”
Here’s to the transformation of your thoughts, your financial situation, your business, your job, your self value, and your WORTH. Be done with What if I fail, and start thinking “What if I succeed?”