Monday, March 12, 2012

Change is GOOD! | N. Virginia Photographer

If you asked me what is the one thing I took away from listening to Jasmine Star speak last week? 

It would be to embrace change.  

Which I have had lots of practice doing the last seven years of my life.   This past year has been full of change.   Some changes were easier than others.   Yet, all of the changes forced me to become more flexible in areas I was not before.   The ONLY thing constant through all the changes I have faced, is God.    He is always there.   Ready to walk me through every new season, trial, and path before me.    He is faithful to uphold and strengthen me.   He has never let me fall without picking me right back up.   When I have fallen it was to remind me to stay on my knees before Him, humble and willing to do things His way and not mine. 

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My photography journey has been no different.   It has been full of changes.   Some I didn’t plan on and others I had to make as we moved to a new location.   As Jasmine spoke, I kept hearing all the wise words my husband has shared over the years as I was preparing to begin my photography business.   Recently he reminded me, “that no matter how oversaturated this market is, that no one else will ever be me, or be able to offer all that comes with working with me.   Your gifts and talents are not wrapped up in the photographs you are able to take, but in the joy they create.”   

Right there is what caused me to change all of my marketing and build my brand around the joy each extraordinary moment captured creates for each of my clients.   

As Jasmine spoke, I found myself saying, “amen” and “mmm-hmmm” often.    Her advice is the same advice I have been given and give to others often.  To be the best YOU, you can be.  To surround yourself with others who will lift you up and not work to tear you down.   To build a creative team that has the same vision and will work together to achieve it.  I sat there hoping and praying that all the other photographers in attendance were feeling the same thing…that tonight marked a new industry standard – we are stronger together than we will ever be alone.  

I am not alone when I say that this industry has its fair share of negative stuff around new photographers and how they are perceived, and how the more experienced photographers lack the desire to help them.   They have crazy rules about the distance you must be to meet up with them personally, attend their workshops, and they are not willing to share any of the learning curve with you in their area.    It is not easy to network in a new area, especially with photographers who think you are now their competition.    I could write about that one for hours, but it won’t do any good because they are stuck in a mindset of misconceptions.   They don’t believe we are stronger together.  They believe each man for himself.  

The FIX has proven that there are other like me. Insert HUGE Smile!!!  Others who desire to be encouraged and encourage.   A group was started when Jasmine announced her tour across America back in January.  I’m thrilled to say we are doing exactly what she asked of us, to be the change we all desire in this industry.  We are working to build strong brands, technical skills, and help each other grow our businesses.  I am hosting themed photo sessions, workshops on various topics, and just fun get-together in and around the DC area once a month (for FREE).   So if you live in the NOVA, MD, DC area and would like to join us – feel free to email me and I will share our fb group with you.  The only requirement to join is to leave your ego and drama at home, have a willing heart to share your knowledge and build others up!   If that sounds like you – contact me.   

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I am not looking to be the next Jasmine Star.  Nor am I looking to be the next (fill in the blank photographer in my area).  I am looking to build my business in a way that will reflect who I am from the inside out…a woman in desperate need of God’s grace and love, who lives to embrace the beauty all around me, and loves to capture the extraordinary moments in the lives of others. 

I applaud Jasmine for telling photographers around the country that she is done worrying about what anyone thinks about her, her photography, her business, and how she is building it.   Why?  Because I feel the same way.  

I love photography.  I love learning everything about the craft and industry.    I am not going to apologize to anyone for building my business in a way that works for me and my family.  Nor will I apologize for my pricing structure, the promotions I run, or the gifts I give away.   I will not play the game of comparison either, nor will I be watching what everyone around me is doing.   Comparison is a killer of dreams.   And right now I’m dreaming big…thanks to the support of my husband, our children, family and friends.  

So you see, CHANGE IS GOOD!

The night came to an end and it was time for me to meet Jasmine.   After almost chocking myself with my camera strap and scarf…(yes I did and poor Lexi was slightly embarrassed) I was able to share that our group was already doing what she spoke about!  Jasmine asked me to keep her up to date on our progress and you know I will. 

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Jasmine you will be happy to know we already have website cc going on, local groups developing for more frequent get-together, second shooter requests, and love is being poured out!!!!!

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Thank you Jasmine for being fabulous and real!  It takes courage to embrace change and you are doing it with style!   Congrats on a successful tour and all that this year holds for you!   It was lovely to meet you and JD.   You compliment each other very well.   Sorry I’m not showing the photo of us together, I was a HOT mess from sweating for almost 3 hours (no AC in the building with over 200 people in a small room, need I say more?).   

I look forward to sharing all that I learn along my journey here with you.   Until tomorrow, embrace all that this day has for you and be willing to change your direction as the winds blow in all that awaits you!

Jill-Signature

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