“Change is good and it does come with struggle.” These were the first words Jasmine Star spoke at theFIX that I jotted down in my notebook. It was refreshing to hear Jasmine Star say that change is good. This is not my typical view of change. Jasmine quickly added that there are struggles in change. Struggles. Who wants to talk about them? This is exactly what Jasmine encouraged. What would it look like if we showcase our struggles? There are struggles in business for each of us. So I want to share where I am in my photography journey, the changes I have walked through and the struggles I face.
In the fall of 2011, Katelyn of Katelyn James Photography announced that she was hosting a workshop. I read her blog daily and remembered seeing the images from her first workshop. I signed up to attend. I attended Katelyn James Photography Workshop with a different perspective then when I attended Me Ra’s workshop in 2009. I wanted to meet and learn from Katelyn James and was equally excited to meet other photographers in the industry. I wanted to hear their story and be connected. This was a change for me. It would have been more comfortable to stay to myself and feel alone. I left the workshop so thankful for the friendships and community that was established from Katelyn’s workshop. Having attended this workshop and establishing friendships in the industry has encouraged me in my business. We support and encourage one another. It has fueled me into this new year. I don’t feel alone any more.
This experience of community was the foundation for understanding Jasmine’s theme at theFIX. We are stronger together. TheFIX attendees were quick to make friends and to connect with one another. This is amazing in an industry that has had the perception of each person for themselves. I am so thankful for Jasmine’s and Katelyn’s example to the industry and to me of establishing and making friendships. At theFIX it was so good to see familiar faces from Katelyn’s Workshop and catch up a bit! This year I am excited to connect with friends in the industry and be stronger photographers together.
Reaching out has opened another area of struggle for me: admitting that I am a photographer. I’m going to be very real and honest. Remember photography, it was something that I did not want to even consider learning. I did not go to college or photography school to learn. I have been self taught over the last three years. I was handed a camera and needed to learn. I have felt inadequate and yet I believe that God had a plan for photography in my life that I did not expect. My ability to capture moments and see the beauty in the everyday is only a gift from Him. It is a gift and I am thankful.
Photography, itself was a change in my life. I was expecting to be a mother of two. There was no time to think about photography, let alone starting and growing a business. However, I know that His plans are better than any good desires that I have. Un-expectantly, through the loss there has been time to start and grow a business that I love. Photography has met me at the very moment that I struggle to understand life’s unexpected changes. It has allowed me to freeze moments of my everyday life of my daughter that I would have missed if I was not a photographer. Myla continues to grow too fast for my heart. I pick up the camera as not to forget each moment with her. My struggle of wanting more children remains, yet I am thankful that God has given me time to start and grow jamie d photography.
There is a struggle for contentment within my soul. There is tension between loving business and wanting and waiting for another child. The war rages. It is a fight. It is hard. It does hurt. It is a choice I have to make each day. It is a choice to acknowledge God’s control and sovereignty over my life (specially the last two years), to trust in God alone because of who he is, and to believe that he is the one guiding and directing my steps. My struggle lies within surrendering and wrestling my thoughts, expectations, plans, desires, and future to His will. The change for me is learning how to love business and how to also carry loss and an emptiness that I feel in my heart.
Author, Dave Harvey explains, “contentment: it frees us to be at rest in the present, while dreaming of the future.” This statement has given me grace to know and experience the freedom to enjoy my life right where I am. I am not missing what God has for me. He has me as a wife, a mother, and a photographer. God’s changes and plans for my life are truly better then any of my good desires.
You can read part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here and part five here. This completes my photography journey for now, yet it is not over. I will look for change and not be surprised when struggles come too.
Lyndon and I had a date day together! I love talking business and dreaming with him!Heading to the Gala.Katelyn James and me!Jasmine was amazing in person!Jasmine read the title Copy Cat from her magazine Exposed. I loved hearing her tone behind her words in person.Then there was time for question and answers. Jasmine is open, honest, and sharp.So I finally at the end of the night I had my turn to meet Jasmine and what happens?
I am lost for words. I get one sentence out. I felt like I had so much to thank her for and the impact she has had on my business.
Thankfully, Lyndon was there and his words came out in sentence form. He is my better half!
The bus they are traveling around the US.I learned more about PASS and can not wait to share more about it!