I received a message from a photographer/mom I look up to on Instagram the other day that really made my week (maybe my month). The last year has been... interesting. A roller coaster of emotions I guess you could say and one that has made me second guess my path at least once a week. Her words had me a little teary eyed for just a second because it means so much when you receive praise and encouragement from someone you truely respect.
This stay at home mom business is hard (or work at home mom depending on the day). I knew it would be, but when I quit that job that I was super excited about after just one day last year, I had this vision of my kids playing nicely in the playroom (which we didn't even have yet because selling a house can be hard and building one is even harder) which somehow also looked clean in this vision while I sat at a cute little desk editing photos and drinking coffee (that was actually hot) with a Disney soundtrack playing in the background. What is that? Does that actually happen? I mean, some days my husband thinks so and he comes home a little confused about why there are so many dishes in the sink and toys in the living room. Good thing he doesn't actually care that much.
Even with this vision being way off, this was the first year I didn't apply for a teaching job in the last 4 years. I've spent plenty of time feeling discouraged, but I've also had these little moments of encouragement and let me tell you, the encouraging moments are worth 100 times more than the discouraging ones. I've tried to accept these little priases graciously, own my hard work in those moments, and use all of this to push me even further forward. The feeling of people noticing something beautiful in my work or seeing the improvement I've made over this last year is like a drug. I have no choice but to keep going on my journey with photography. That's for sure where I want to focus my energy, even though I don't necessarily know exactly what that might look like going forward.
When that super sweet photographer I was talking about took time out of her day and from her life to leave me, ME!!!, a little message, I was shocked and proud of how far I've come and just so honored that she would notice and think I was worth that time. With her kind words she sent me this picture that I had recently posted on Instagram....
It actually didn't perform all that well on instagram, but I love it an I also can see my growth here. The original image was a tad over exposed, but once I dropped the exposure in post processing, my heart stoped for just a moment. The way the water and her shoulder are illuminated on the left side and the way the wet hair sticks to her back and the blur from freelensing... my momma heart loves everything about it. I love my black and white, but I'd edit this one in color all day, everyday.
But honestly, this photo (or any of my recent images) wouldn't have been possible without a couple things. 1. Those few and far between people who decided to reach out to me in some way and tell me they loved what I was doing and to keep going and 2. The amazing community of women (and a man here or there) on Instagram that have embraced me and insprired me to try new things.
When I started this post I didn't really know where I was going with it. I guess if you take anything from it, I hope it's that you should speak up if you see someone killing it because I can assure you they don't always feel that way. We tend to be our own toughest critics and sometimes we just need someone to say, "Hey girl, your killing it."
So Hey Girl (or Dude), You're Killing it!