fiddle leaf photography
Jan 28, 2017
A few weeks ago, I sat at one of the cutest little cafes in Edmonton, the Barking Buffalo Cafe, surrounded by a group of highly passionate creative women and men. We were gathered for our monthly Rising Tide Tuesdays Together meeting, where we chat about all of the fun and challenges that come with running a creative business in this new era of entrepreneurism. Near the end of the meeting we started discussing fear. Why is it that when it comes to our work, we are so darn scared?
I’ve thought a lot about this. I feel the fear quite deeply and on almost a daily basis. It’s that little voice in my head telling me to back down and to quiet down. Often times I can tell it to shush and leave me alone, but some days it yells at me until I wonder if I should listen to it. Am I too loud? Am I sharing too much? What if I look like a fool? What if I think this is cool but nobody else does? Who am I to think I can do this?
Here’s what I’ve concluded: The fear is there because I care.
My photos aren’t just another snap of the shutter. They are composed with thought, intention and consideration of the moment, so if someone doesn’t like it, then does it mean they don’t like me? Because really, if we’re being honest here, we all want to be liked, right? Logically, I know that my art isn’t all of who I am, but it can be incredibly hard to separate.
I’m scared because each time I put my art out there, I’m putting out a tiny sliver of my heart into the universe and I really want those slivers to resonate with people. Yes, I do it partially for me, but I’m also doing it to make a statement and cause some sort of vibration within the viewer, whether that be a new parent or a total stranger. And in the end, in order to keep doing this work at the level I am, the art has to be financially sustainable, which means it has to resonate. I can’t imagine going back to a 9-5 job where I have to report to someone and do work that doesn’t excite me. I’ve seen and tasted the other side, and although it’s filled with all new, and often more frustrating challenges, it is where I belong. It is the challenge I need. And more than that, it’s what I want my girls to see on a daily basis. That I am working my butt off and facing many of my fears to do what makes me happy instead of settling. I am done settling.
I suggested during that meeting at the Barking Buffalo Cafe that 2017 should be the year for big bold moves. For deciding to do what scares us and being ok with however the chips shall land after the leap is taken. And that maybe, if we know we aren’t in this alone, facing the fear will be easier and a little bit less daunting. Plus, the more bold moves we make, assumedly, the further we’ll get in both business and life. So, I’m publicly committing that each month this year I’m going to be bold, put myself out there and make a move. That’ll be 12 big bold moves. Sometimes it’ll be personal (like not turning on my computer for a whole weekend….seriously, that is scary for me, what if I miss a new inquiry or an opportunity? But, what will I gain by NOT turning it on?) and other times it’ll be pushing my business forward. But in any case, I’m going to keep going, even if it means collecting a big stack of rejection letters by the end of the year. I started already in January by quitting my part time office job. After I had my second daughter I couldn’t quit…I was too scared to let it go. What if my husband was laid off? What if people decided they no longer needed photos or the camera became obsolete (no joke, I thought that!)? I needed that security blanket of having something I could go back to. But, over the last year it became stressful and the thought of going to do work that took me away from my family and didn’t feed my creativity made me lose sleep (literally). So, I started 2017 off by quitting. And it felt GOOD. A weight was lifted and all of a sudden I could fully commit to the business that does feed my creativity.
So! How are you feeling about this year? Are you ready to make some big bold moves too? This isn’t just a shift in mindset for those of you who are in business, but can also apply to your everyday life. Are you ready to accept the fear that comes with growth? Want to buy a house? Homeschool your kids? Have that second baby? Foster a puppy? Go on vacation without your phone? Tell your boss you really do deserve that raise? Throw out the clothes from 10 years ago that you just keep hanging onto in case one day you’ll be able to do that button up again?
I’m encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and do this with me. Let’s be bold and show the world what we can do. Because if any time is the right time, 2017 is the year to show the world that women can stand up and be STRONG and BRAVE and POWERFUL.
P.S. If you need an accountability partner feel free to email me and I’ll check in with you monthly to see how those bold moves are going!
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Lifestyle family & newborn photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta
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