Purpose gives you a reason
My journey as a photographer began because of my children - like many other photographers. I studied how to use my gear, learned how to find the light, practiced posing, composition, connection, styling and grew into a capable photographer. I photographed maternity, newborns, children, families - but it was always my children who inspired me the most, with so much inner creativity it is wonderful to get creative with my children. To teach them this incredible art form - and together we have fun creating a visual legacy for them.
I went through my personal journey of growth and transformation, trying to figure out what kind of photographer I wanted to be. What did I want to photograph, what made me feel excited and alive? I love the challenge of new things - I never read only one book - I read multiple books at any given time - my mind never stops, creativity and ideas are always at the forefront of my mind.
Photography is my passion. I do it because I love it; getting paid for it is simply a bonus. When I am asked what kind of photography I dedicate myself to, I find it difficult to confine myself to a label such as a portrait photographer, newborn photographer, etc.
My philosophy is that an artist is always growing and there is no reason to put limits on the artist's skills. With that in mind, if someone presents an idea, even if it is out of my "comfort zone," I consider it. Regardless, I do have my personal favorites. I love shooting naturally lit child portraits, and creative Fine Art.
Within everyone, there are artistic skills that can be tapped into, but only those who are passionate and ambitious ever tap into that and become artists.
I feel a deep passion and need to teach other people they can do the same. Use photography as a wonderful tool for creative expression and capture their legacy - whatever that might be. We are all different in this world, but we all need each other. We need to encourage each other, learn from one another and be there for each other.
I have had to step back and refocus my values, what I want from life, what life means to me - and how I want to show up in the world. As I get older, purpose and value mean more to me than ever.
Here are some Questions to ask yourself when you lose your way.
1. What makes you come alive?
The word inspire comes from the Latin, meaning “to breathe life into.” Accordingly, when you are working toward things that inspire you, it literally makes you feel more alive.
You don’t have to declare at this point that you want to invent the next iPad, solve the world’s energy problems or cure cancer (though you might!). This is about you connecting to a cause that’s bigger than you are, but which is also congruent with who you are what you care about.
2. What are your innate strengths?
In The Element, Sir Ken Robinson says that our element is the point at which natural talent and skill meets personal passion. What are the things you’ve always been good at (sometimes wondering why others find it so hard?)
Of course, you can also be passionate about things you have no natural talent for, and talented at things for which you hold little passion. However, experience has shown me that we rarely aspire toward ambitions we have no natural talent to achieve. As civil rights leader Howard Thurmon once wrote, “Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Indeed they do.
3. Where do you add the greatest value?
Doing work that you’re good at, but which you loathe, is not a pathway to fulfillment. That said, knowing your greatest strengths and where you can add the most value—through the application of your education, skills, knowledge and experience—can help you focus on the opportunities, roles and career paths where you are most likely to succeed and therefore find the greatest sense of accomplishment and contribution.
4. How will you measure your life?
People who don’t stand for something can easily fall for anything. Deciding how you want to measure your life means making a stand for something and then living your life in alignment with it.
Knowing your purpose may compel you to take on challenges that will stretch you as much as they inspire you.
For the first time in a long time, I feel my photography brings me both meaning and purpose and personal fulfillment. I am working on many projects to benefit my community and cannot wait to share my stories with you in the future.