Hello my beautiful friends!!
I love helping people out. I love getting to teach fellow photographers what I’ve learned, which is why I’m writing you right now! This past week I’ve spent 24/7 with some incredible girls on our first ever Wander Workshop! We’ve combined our love of travel, photography, and education into a workshop that we held on the Big Island. I’ll definitely be sharing more about our adventures soon, but for now I just wanted to let you in on some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
It’s something that’s pulled me through the creative slumps and the times where I felt like I was coming up short or just not making things happen.
A few years ago, I somehow was lucky enough to be able to interview a National Geographic photographer over the phone. Nat Geo is pretty much the dream for me so you can imagine how stoked I was!
I basically asked him something along the lines of “How do I get from here to there?”
He told me: you create your own dream job. Don’t wait around for someone to send you on assignment to South Africa, go to South Africa and send yourself on assignment. Learn a language, get to know a place, take the photos you wish were assigned to you. Pretty soon you’ll attract the right jobs.
I took that to heart.
Am I on track to become a National Geographic journalist? No, because dreams change. But the advice still applies.
I’ve switched paths a few times in my photography career. I went from taking silly photos of my friends, to shooting fashion portraits for Lookbook, to shooting weddings, to small elopements, to product and social media photos, to travel and tourism photos. I feel like I’ve done it all sometimes!
But every single time I switched gears it wasn’t because I suddenly got hired for something I had never done. I usually had to create my own dream job and then that drew the right clients. For example, when I was phasing into elopements, I had only really done big weddings at that point. So I started shooting couples I knew and put it on my website that I was only taking small weddings from then on. Somehow the right people found me and it all worked out.
Once again I find myself at a cross roads. I know that I love photography education, I love shooting travel, I love fashion, I love shooting my own life. But I’m still figuring out how to define that into the job I love.
Maybe you’re on the cusp of something great too. I hope you can take this advice and make it your own: go out and start doing it without getting paid. Switch gears if that’s what you want. You don’t have to stick to one thing forever.
I hope to see you out there doing something great, wherever your heart beats hardest.