one hundred days.

Monday, May 14, 2012

thirty seven sessions in under one hundred days.
I'll leave you with the math on how many images that is to cull. :)
for some that isn't a big number.
but for me, that's something to sit back and take pause on.
especially heading into wedding season starting this weekend.

I've been absent on this blog as of late working hard with production.
this blog has gotten lost somewhere amidst life, deadlines
and my head hitting the pillow sometime around two each night it seems...
production is a good thing but I feel like I'm missing a piece out of the emotional aspect on this journey.
I suppose that's part of the reason I have a blog...and why I suppose some of you read this...
to get to know me...what I think, what I thoughts.
my thoughts + your images = the [kreatid] blog :)

so where am I at on this journey?
for the most part, I've experienced nothing but good these last 100 days...

creatively exploring different sides of each of your personalities that you've allowed me glimpses of has been an absolute pleasure...
annie (yes, I pretend I'm on a first name basis with her) :) said it best:
"when I photograph you, I'm saying I would like to know you."

being outside and finding new locations that work to enhance your images has been worthwhile
and challenging in mostly a good way (*note to self* wedges are not made for climbing in rocks) :)

looking outside the norm for new posing and angles has challenged how I see you in front of the lens...
I've got a quirky side. (and not like a zooey deschanel quirly way, like a three eyeball quirkiness :) )
I know it.  I've embraced it.
but what's more, is that you've embraced it.
you  let me draw out your quirky side through the camera and it's been one giant quirk-fest.
(yeah, I might have taken that word just a little bit too far.) :)

posing has become new for me each session...and it's been super fun in the process. :)

learning that there is so much more to "not growing weary at doing good" than I could have ever have known.
I know there is more to life than photography.
a lot of you ask how I balance my two kids, being a pastor's wife,
being a book keeper for a well known restaurant, being a small group leader, etc, etc, etc...and to be honest.
I don't balance it.
He does.
my life's verses have been found in galatians:

"live creatively, friends. (he says it RIGHT THERE!)
       if someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself.
                              you might be needing forgiveness before the day's out.
       stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed.
             share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law.
if you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given,
and then sink yourself into that.

don't be impressed with yourself.
don't compare yourself with others.
each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

what a person plants, he will harvest.
the person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds.
all he'll have to show for his life is weeds!
but the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him,
harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.

so let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good.
at the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit."

is it hard juggling life with photography?
you. bet. it. is.
but to remind you of one of my favorite movie quotes: "the hard is what makes it great."

it's true.
but I'm slowly realizing that "the hard" is a whole lot narrower and less populated that I had originally anticipated.
even among people I call good friends.
this knowledge can be seriously lonely company at times.
I'm slowly realizing that there is a whole breed of people who don't care about the hard.
and that's okay.

this poses the question:
"how do you strive with everything you've got after the hard, knowing it was what you were made to do, all the while being bombarded by those who either don't care about the hard or want to load you up more with their hard as well?"
hard to understand? ;)
*ha!  it's been a while since I've written so I have no doubt half of you have given up at the point...
I promise a less heavier thought read in the future. :)*

let me try to explain...
I've had a lot of conversation with my sister about what defines a professional photographer.
and for me the answer to that is this:

"someone who is on the journey of producing consistent, of quality, artistically unique images with a healthy awareness and action in viewing and treating their brand as a business."
(I'm sure there are A LOT of holes in that's just my opinion.)

practically what does that mean?
it means the photographer invests and educates themselves with their equipment,
it means the photographer registers their business with the proper tax agencies - not just facebook,
it means the photographer researches and finds locations on their own,
it means the photographer cares about the quality of the images and production they give their clients,
it means the photographer isn't just an artist, but a business person.

hard stuff to think about, no?

so what are some of my soft conclusions on the practicality of "the hard"?

the more you put yourself out there, the more "kinds" you're going to get.
my grandpa says "you get all kinds.  you don't need all kinds, but you definitely get all kinds."
and he's right. :)
I've met all kinds this season...some of you I'll have a friendship after this season...some of you not.
I'm okay with that.
yeah, I said that.
out loud.
it is REALLY hard for the people-pleaser in me to say...I'm okay with not being something to all kinds. :)

living with the knowledge that you've never "arrived" nor are ever intended to.
you're always in state of learning and growing.
does the pendulum swing a slight bit less the longer you're on the journey?
yes, but you're never done learning.

challenge yourself...get out of auto mode.
see things in a new way.
do something that resonates with you...and then go deeper with that.
"sink yourself into that..."

business is just that, business.
stereotypically, this is probably why you don't see as many successful business women...
it's hard for us to shut off our emotions and just look at business as business.
I'm learning I don't have to explain my business decisions.
I need to be upfront and clear and easy to understand.
but I don't have to explain and answer to every complaint.
I just got an email from a client stating that "the customer is always right."
and I a certain extent.

if I walked into a restaurant and ordered something off the menu;
got the said item off the menu and it was good;
and then complained that I thought I would be receiving two of them because "the customer is always right."
I would be wrong.

I need to provide what I stated I would provide...and if possible, a little more...

but in the end if the client isn't satisfied with what they've received and I'm sure I've delivered a quality product, I don't need to be emotional in my response.
just clear, kind and matter of fact.
how they choose to respond is their choice.
and once again, the people-pleaser in me needs to let go and let business be business.
hard stuff. :)

I don't have to give away e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. I find...specifically locations.
it's gotten to the point that I'm scheduling clients based on a emotion they feel when they look at a previous image I've taken...and they can narrow that emotion down to the location and how it made them feel.
that's pretty powerful stuff.
but do I own the location?
but I did drive.
and did a whole lot of research.
and then drive some more...with my mom :) - who is infatuated with arizona and it's beauty.
and then I drove some more.
and then researched some more to find some pretty unique locations off the beaten path.
time and energy spent towards a unique thing I provide for my clients.
this shooting season I've heard over and over again from my clients that they genuinely appreciate it.
so I'll continue doing that.
providing for them...not the general public.
I don't mind sharing both ways...but simple hand outs?  not a fan.
do the hard.
research.  then drive.
then research some more...
then drive some much more rewarding and in the end, pretty unique. :)

my husband is the best business partner I could ever have.
I don't say it enough...and society wants to tell me that it's all about me.
but I know that it's not.
without him, I am not me.
he is my rock.
he is wise.
he is my friend.
and he gets this business.
I am a lucky girl indeed. :)
so there's my thoughts after 100 days.
doing what I do...and sometimes it's hard.
because it's what I was made to do.
am I pleasing everyone?
but I'm hoping to please Him more the longer I'm on this journey.


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