Do you have a word, verse or goals for 2017? My word is “refocus”, let me tell you why.
There are a few things that happened last year that made me choose this word, goal or maybe it’s more of a theme. I think it started after being a part of The Inspired Story conference in Dallas, Texas and all the nuggets of wisdom the ladies shared. Checking on my goals I had set for 2016 and getting totally smacked in the face by the fact that I wasn’t busy as much as I was doing busy work (ugh!).
At the conference, Joy encouraged me to not just take pretty pictures but to take pictures that speak all on their own. She looked through a sample of my portfolio and pointed out the photographs that spoke, which happen to be some of my favorite shots. She really brought me back to creating the way God intended for me to create. It’s not like everyone else, it’s not supposed to be like everyone else. I am doing everyone a disservice if I am not creating the photographs that my soul needs to. I relate it to poetry or different genres of music. All of it is unique and the one who wrote it had a burning desire or need to take their pen to the paper or fingers to the strings and make sense out of all their thoughts and feelings. I want my photographs to tell a story of “that moment”. You know, that moment. The one that is relatible, where emotion radiates from the printed image and the love, sorrow, melancholy or joy can be felt. Then Mia told me, I don’t “do” weddings and I don’t “do” births just like I don’t “do” newborns. I am a wedding photographer, I am a birth photographer and I also am a newborn photographer. I totally struggle with this because the industry says to specialize. I totally get it, I have seen some beautiful work of photographers who specialize. Last year I wrote about what I specialize in and I need to remind myself that I am a Moments Photographer. I can’t just focus on one or two areas of photography because that is just not me. Life and all the amazing moments that happen are just to exciting to only look in one direction.
I think it was sometime in the early fall where I revisited my 2016 goals and realizing that I was doing too much “busy work”, which I am totally not a fan of (and what I strive to keep out of our school days). It actually was depressing! If you’re a business owner I’m sure you totally get the constant flow of work and always the voice in your head that tells you, “all this time and energy will pay off.” I’m not saying it won’t but I would encourage you to keep your time allotment of work, life and all that jazz close by and revisit it often; like every month would be good. Don’t do what I did and wait 9 months into the year to check in. So after my bout of sadness and frustration I re-prioritized/rescheduled/rebooted and refocused (like how I brought that back in?) because I’m all about short bursts of work or lessons being intentional. I think I first learned that from my dad who always pushed us to just get it done (first lesson was washing cars, second one was foot work on the softball field). Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling with the “short meaningful lessons” she always spoke of.
So why is my word “refocus” when it could just be “focus”? I think that was my original intent when I said yes to the calling of becoming a family documentarian. When I said yes to putting more effort into learning how to use my camera to create what I saw in my head. when I said yes to starting my business to help support my family. When I said yes to stepping out of my “don’t look at me” comfort zone to put it out to the world that I want to create a photograph that captures “that moment” and I am the professional photographer who can do that.
This year, I’m coming back to my original intent; using my gift to glorify God. He put the desire in my soul for a reason so I’d like to see where He will lead me.
Photography is all about seeing the light. I see it, and it’s beautiful.