Friday, September 2, 2011

Taking the Leap

For quite some time now, I have been struggling with a decision about my photography hobby.  I have loved photography for the better part of five years, but despite some encouragement from friends and family, I have been very resistant to developing it into a business.

There are a few reasons for this:
  • The first and biggest reason is lack of confidence.  I recognize that I am still learning.  I am a perfectionist at heart, and I cannot bear the idea of putting myself out there and not feeling like I am the very best at it.  I can critique every single picture that I have ever taken.  But when it is for my own personal enjoyment, and for the walls of our home, it doesn't matter that I have flaws.  Charging people money for a talent that is still growing just doesn't feel right to me. 
  • I am worried about turning something that I love into a chore.  As it stands right now, photography is my outlet.  It brings me joy and happiness, and I never dread taking photos.  Never.  But what happens if I have to take photos in order to pay the electric bill, buy groceries and clothe my children? Will I begin to dread it?  Will I think of it as a JOB?  It would be a great sadness to lose the joy that photography brings to me.  
  • It's mine.  Similar to my piano, I have a tendency to keep things that I cherish close to my heart.  I took piano lessons for 12 years before I played in ONE piano recital.  And the one recital that I did was for my 92-year-old Romanian classical piano teacher because it was my last year with him, and he begged me.  (And he was the cutest man, my Mr. Grabow, I just couldn't say no to him!) I hated being the center of attention, sitting by myself at that piano, with all the eyes on me.  It's not a stage-fright thing, it's a "I-don't-want-to-share-what's-mine-with-you-thing."  Pretty selfish huh? :) 
  • I'm scared.  I am not a risk-taker.  I like salaried jobs with 401Ks and benefits.  I like guaranteed paychecks.  I like to plan 6 months from now and know that I will be able to afford X dollars to spend at Christmas.  Running a business is the opposite of this mentality.
But I was reading from one of my favorite books, Conversations with God, and I came across a quote that spoke to my heart.  It is a quote that I have loved and come back to many times, but sometimes you can come across something that you see every day, and suddenly it speaks to you.

If you think your life is about doingness, you do not understand what you are about. Your soul doesn't care what you do for a living--and when your life is over, neither will you. Your soul cares only about what you are being while you're doing whatever you're doing. It is a state of beingness the soul is after, not a state of doingness.

And I realized that my soul is not pursuing this state of beingness.  I have been pursuing a state of doingness for awhile now.  So I am thinking about taking that leap and pursuing my photography as a business.  Because even though photography is just a different thing to be "doing," I know how my heart feels while I am doing it.  It is that state of "beingness" that I need.

And no, I'm not quitting my day job! I still need to pay the bills too. :)

So.  I need experience!  Lots and lots of experience.  Before I take a single dollar, I want to have loads of photos of families and babies, and couples and kids (and not just my own!).  Who wants free photos? 


Katherine Kerber said...
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Katherine Kerber said...

I like that quote. I mean, it's right, what you do won't effect you happiness, only who you can effect that.

It's sounds like you're starting in the right direction, too. Build up a killer portfolio and you can take your photography anywhere.

What kinds of photos are you interested in? Family photos? Wedding photos? I know you mentioned something about babies..

(Sorry about the double post. I'm still getting used to this.)