Monday, March 18, 2013

WPPI, Discovering Me

This is not easy to write.  I feel like I am exposing myself & putting myself under a microscope.  I am.  I am so that I will hold myself accountable for what I discovered & so that just maybe one other person will benefit.

I have put myself in the position that the more I learn & study the sooner I will evolve-personally and professionally.

Discovery #1:  I have discovered that there are women, dear friends, successful business women, awesome photographers who have fears.  Fears of making the wrong decisions, fears of failing, fears of what others think of them.  I have fear.

I have sat in many, many classes, webinars, read books, blogs, posts, seeking and searching for the clear defined path I should take to be successful in my business.  Everywhere I looked and studied I gained nuggets of knowledge...but no defined answer.

At WPPI, I talked to friends I respect who have known me the last year. They wanted to know if I have figured out what I've been seeking.  "No, not really." Seemed to be what I kept saying.  I love photography.  I love photographing weddings, though I do not want to do it every weekend.  I love photographing newborns, families, seniors.  I love photographing people, but felt like I had to "narrow it down".  After hearing so many professionals say to focus or specialize, I have felt like that is what I was supposed to do.  Someone finally told me that it is ok to not "specialize".  (Thanks Amanda!)

Discovery #2:  I am a Portrait & Wedding Photographer because I love photographing people and I love being part of my clients lives-not just single moments.

On the last full day, I met my friend Jaelene in the lobby of the hotel.  I was heading to a class, then planned to play tourist and see the gorgeous hotels-after class of course.  She said to me "You have attended enough classes, you have enough in your brain, take that badge off and go be a tourist."  She then said something so powerful to me that I will never know how to thank her.  She said "You have everything you need.  You have something very special and don't even know it."  Those who know me know I am never speechless.  I was speechless, but finally found a way to utter the words "What?  What do I have?"

She then gave me the most wonderful gift.  Jaelene told me that I have something inside of me that makes people want to be around me, that I make people happy.  No one in my life has ever told me anything like this.  I am not sure what I said, but my mind was trying to wrap around it, trying to believe it. More was said and I am so thankful for her telling me what others see in me that I could never see in myself.

Discovery #3:  Me.  I love smiling, laughing, having fun.  I love making people happy and I'm good at it!

So I found myself in Las Vegas, at the age of 40.  I am afraid & I can admit that I have fears.  If I can admit them, I can overcome them.  I am thrilled to be a Portrait & Wedding Photographer and do not want to give up parts of my clients lives by "specializing".  I specialize in giving my clients a happy, fun, photography experience with some great images, products,  & memories of not only the photos but of the time we spend creating them.

Love & Laughter makes the world a better place-wishing you both, Stephanie

PS, I did not go to the last class, I took my friend's advice and played tourist...



caesar's palace with my talented, smart, beautiful friends
(Me, Amanda Reed, Martha Dameron, Elise Ellis, Jaelene Bryan, and Danielle Williams)