With all the negativity and competitiveness that seems to have invaded this industry, by those whose primary wish it is to profit monetarily from art, I thought it was time artistry, not money, took center stage. In this new spirit of helping and elevating the entire genre—if you are new and feeling unsure about yourself and/or your work, I know the feeling. Trust me, I’ve been there! If you were to ask me where I wanted be, with regards to my work a couple of years ago, I would never have imagined I would be where I am today.
There is still so much for me to learn, and the truth is, I am so in love with what I do that I'll probably die learning! What I have learned these past few years, while struggling to find my way is that, when you have a strong foundation and you truly love photography, not for its supplementary income, but for the beauty it captures and the feelings it invokes, that love and appreciation will take you far. When you do it for no other reason than for the pure love and joy it brings you, there’s no pressure to profit—so there’s no need to bring down anyone that shares your love of the subject and because your interest is genuine, you will constantly find ways to challenge yourself and grow, based on your own interests and desires. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make a business out of your artwork—I’m not just a dreamer, after all. Like all commodities and hobbie, there is a price associated. What I am saying, though, is that there needs to be a balance—and that the dreamer in me, wishes that the focus of the business is the art—and not the monetary gain. No more, no less. Similarly, on the positive spectrum, innovation jumpstarted this country—and on the negative spectrum, greed has been more prevalent than innovation the past few years.
Photography should only be a part of your life, not your whole life, and your role as photographer is only a small role that you play. It should never define who you are. We are so much more than that—mother, daughter, lover, and whatever else that helps make us who we are. As you go along there will be many bumps along the road. Regardless of what is out there, listen to yourself, you know yourself best. Take whatever you can learn from and disregard the negativity. It does no one any good. While your trust in yourself may waver during those bumps, never lose sight of whom you are and why you started this particular journey. You may have not yet discovered your own strengths and weaknesses--but when you do, focus on your strengths, improve your weaknesses, continue to practice, and forever stay humble. Someday you will be where you always dreamed of being, and maybe beyond that. It's a never-ending journey and only you can determine how far you go!