i used to be a photographer...

In the blogging & handmade world you probably hear a lot of us talking about following our passions, I don't necessarily mean quitting your job and just becoming a full time blogger or shop owner though.  Once upon a time I was passionate about photography.  I was taught on manual with film through high school and college then moved into digital.  I've always loved taking pretty pictures and it just so happened when I really put my heart into it I was inspired to create beautiful images for others.





Just like any other field you choose to pursue though, unless you stay positive and passionate about it then losing interest can be a huge possibility.  For me it took a couple of things.  The ugly side of blogging, competition and copy cats.. and the clients.

I actually LOVED LOVE LOVED 90% of my clients and in all honesty I almost stuck with it because of them, but that other 10% were down right evil and crazy!  They made what I saw out of my lens become something so uninspiring and 'job-like' that I slowly started getting out of it.



Then there were the other photographers who form clicks.  The ones who are Canon or Nikon (or insert any other brand here) hard core lovers.  The ones that attend WPPI and the ones that would never.  The ones that use old versions of programs they love and the ones that are snobby if you don't have the newest coolest editing toys.  The amazing ones you just want to learn from that won't give you the time of day.  Don't get me wrong, not all of it was bad.. and I did love a lot of things I learned and people I met... for me though the money was a perk, the images were the payoff and trying to find others with a like mindset is very very hard in this industry.




All I wanted to do was to take pretty pictures and capture someones memories for them.  I wanted to freeze time on a beautiful moment and be proud of what I was able to see.  Sometimes I get so angry at myself for letting things get to me so easily that I actually walked away from it because of things that in all reality are so petty.  

Really... I just lost my passion.



I think that no matter what your heart wants you to do, you should at least try it.  It doesn't mean you are a failure if you don't do it forever.  I could tell you that my business was insanely successful (& hey maybe that led to some stress and also gave me the push to quit), but success can only be measured in what makes you happy at the end of the day.  So go after what you love, do it to the best of your ability and if you have to make sacrifices to get there.. if you have to piss people off to get there.. whatever it is, just make a plan- do it right and take a chance.




I have thousands and thousands of images in my hard drive that sometimes I like to look through.  I'm so torn because I look at them and think 'hey I took that, I did that.. someone has that photo and I did that' and then sometimes now when I look at things.. I'm not inspired to take the photos like I once was (unless its for my instagram addiction!) and that saddens me because I see nothing. Its like it was ruined.



If I would have stuck with it and maintained my busy schedule I would have a different blog with a different audience and I wouldn't have time for my shops.. I probably (& most likely) wouldn't have needed a bigger studio or be living in this house, made the friends I have or even been given the opportunities that have come my way this last year.  I think things just happen for a reason and if I had to lose one thing to gain all these others that's an okay trade by me.  At least I have the memories & actual images to remember something I did that was good for myself and others.

27 comments:

  1. I always say...
    Fate lends a hand in mysterious ways...
    I once was a photographer too...But with the "invention" of digital I really lost it...I still love taking pictures for my blog etc...But life has changed for me now...and I know that's a good thing...I create things that I love and talk to people that I would have never got to in my "old" life...
    I love your photo's...you have a amazing eye...

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  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I own a blog thast I post a photo every day as a challenge and I have recently thought about quitting due to lack of followers and all but I am still going. This was a nice confidence boost for myself. I love all of what you do!!

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  3. You're so talented! And in this online, handmade world...being a talented photographer is such an advantage :).

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  4. Wow. Your photographs are incredibly beautiful. I can't imagine how hard it would be to have to choose to stop doing something I used to love to do. I'm so glad you were able to find so many other wonderful things you love, and new friends along the way. Keep being inspired :)

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  5. You have some amazing talent - I hope someday you decide to jump back into it whole heart. These photos are wonderful!

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  6. I definitely believe that everything happens for a reason and you are exactly where you need to be. I love your positive attitude!

    --kendall
    songbirdsandbuttons.blogspot.com

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  7. I love this Heather Dawn! So beautifully written and from the heart. Thank you for sharing!!

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  8. I love the post and very much agree with what you said. I wrote a post on a similar topic- the idea of doing what you love: http://www.aboxofpaint.com/2011/09/this-i-believe.html
    I think it's important to keep in mind that success should be measured by your own happiness.
    Great post. Happy weekend.

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  9. You take amazing photographs! I'm practicing to become a photographer now but I don't plan on going pro. I never want my passion to begin to feel like a job and I am afraid to get clients who will be rude.

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  10. You are SOOO talented! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  11. your story is so much like mine... and my old business (i literally just dissolved it yesterday)... it wasn't fun anymore... it became more annoying than anything else. I'm still designing, only in a slightly different way now. it's weird how just changing the niche/industry you work in can make you so much happier though.
    oh and i <3 you!
    xox dana

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  12. wow...amazing photos. Also, inspiring story...I just blogged about my passion and linked this post and your site...it's going up tomorrow morning. Thanks so much for sharing!

    xo

    Dani

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  13. Oh geez, I'm actually just starting my photography business, and all those things you said above, are doubts that are in my mind....I'm afraid that people will ruin my love for photography and I'm afraid that basically I will never be able to do what I love. I study photography at a university...it took me 6 semesters to realize that school was not the right choice. What they teach me in school is not the way I want to approach photography. The problem is that all my professors or fellow students tell me that I'm totally nuts and producing bullshit, because I don't want to work for vogue or what ever. I want to make pictures for private use...for your average family...so they can look back and remember a beautiful stage in their life. Already it's very hard for me to stick to it because I get negative bullshit from all sides. BUT I also realized that I'm starting to feel much more like myself again and that my passion is slowly coming back because I'm actually doing what I love and want.

    This industry is extremely hard and I can't stand all the negative vibes that go on around it. It's really hard to stay true to what you want and to not let it all get to you.

    Loved this post.

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  14. I think everything we do in present day, the people we encounter, the person we become, is all due to what we've done in the past. Without certain experiences, those emotional / mental / physical muscles would never be built, and our lives would maybe be something completely different. It's kind of weird to think about. :) Thanks for the honest, awesome post!

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  15. I have the same story. Film through high school, digital in college. A passion beyond belief, then clients who began to suck the joy out of my photography. Once my love began to become a chore, I decided to quit the business side. Photography brings me joy, and I will not allow anyone to take that joy from me... although it already took some of my passion away :( My poor camera sits idle for weeks at the time now. It's heartbreaking.

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  16. Great post! Truly from the heart and I admire that so much. I hope you find your passion again. Not just to be "a photographer" but so that you can see beauty where there is none. That's my favorite part about taking pictures. I'm not a "pro" by any means, I just like how the world looks through my viewfinder. ;)
    Nikki

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  17. that was refreshing and I totally and completely agree on so many levels girl~ it's a jungle out there, especially for people like u and me just wanting to enjoy the ride, follow your heart and not get caught up in the crappola :) you have many gifts I am sure..and your photography passion will most likely bloom again in other ways that are more fullfilling....I find myself shooting clients and at times as they are changing or whatever , I am snapping the beautiful flowers...LOL.....i get it! I like my blog for the reason I can do whatever i want on it...post or not post..write about random stuff, post clients or not...Thank you for sharing your thoughts~ :)
    ps. I have nice cameras but love shooting on my old olympus rangefinder~ old school.

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  18. this is super inspiring, especially the baby photos. wish i could be as good as you!

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  19. WoW! These are gorgeous. You're super talented.

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  20. Photography is dream of mine, but I'm deathly scared of failure within that dream. I'm trying to not let other people's perceptions of what I like get me down. I do agree that if its just not your passion anymore then no use of making it your job. I tried the etsy shop world and it just wasn't my passion at all. But I guess we will never know what works until we try it. wow, I guess I need to buck up and try more. lol
    p.s. love your pics. :-)

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  21. I was the same with photography. I had a business taking people's photographs for a while too but I lost my drive and motivation after one too many crazy, cheap clients. There always will be some of those in any business but I was lucky enough to have some awesome clients as well that I am still in touch with. I still base my side business around my photography..but it's personal, not client work so it's less pressure, more creative, etc. When I do portraits, it's based around my creative idea, not around what someone else wants.

    I'm glad I did it but I also don't have the same interest I had before for sure.

    Whenever someone says they are thinking of something but aren't sure, I always tell them to do it. Like the quote goes, never know until you try!

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  22. Wow - are those all your photos!? Amazing! You are all-around talented girl, jelly.

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  23. Thank you so much for this post, Heather! it gives me, an aspiring photographer getting ready to break into portraiture, a lot to think about in terms of considering bad AND good of any career path. Thanks again! :)

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  24. P.S. your photos are AWESOME.

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  25. you're really good :) i think i kinda suck compared to you but i'm still learning :P

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  26. I definitely agree about the whole "you wouldn't be where you are today if 'x' didn't happen" thing. I always try to keep that in mind when past hobbies that I stopped pursuing are brought up. Your photography is beautiful, and was obviously a huge stepping stone toward bigger and better things that bring you joy presently.

    New follower!

    The Tall Blonde Artist

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