This is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever admitted.
If you know me, you know I’m fairly quiet most of the time (that is, unless you ask my best friend or husband). I’m not typically one to divulge much about myself for fear of giving people even the slightest opportunity to judge me. I typically avoid confrontation, sometimes conversation and prefer to stick to the status quo if at all possible.
This post was originally shared in 2013.
But over the past year, I’ve started to realize how short life is and just how fast it moves and I only have one chance to do what I truly love.
When I graduated high school, I went to Paris with my French club. On one of the first days there, we were walking down the Champs-Elysee and I bought my first ever Vogue. I fell in love with the editorials and the way the light hit the models, but more importantly, I fell in love with how those images made me feel.
Looking back, that was the starting point for my obsession with photography. From there, I started taking pictures of anything I could. My travels, my friends and my gorgeous sister who graciously dealt with my obsession. I was hooked with a camera in my hand and there was no going back.
A few years into shooting, I was asked to shoot a wedding. What? Me? This is terrifying. I’m not qualified. I’ve never shot a wedding. Are you sure? But I did the best I could, and in spite of being extremely nervous, managed to have a great time documenting their exciting day.
I’ve since then shot weddings, engagements, portraits and events. I loved the challenge of honing my skills with each session and working with amazing people.
I’m now 24 years old and, not to sound dramatic, but I’ve got upwards of 75 years left on earth — God willing — to do what it is I believe I was meant to do. (Hey, I eat a lotta kale, anything can happen).
Which brings me to this realization. I can either spend my life in a safe and comfortable place, or I can leap and do what I love.
So here goes… I want to be a fashion and portrait photographer. Oh my gosh I said it. I could do this every day of my life and still feel as giddy as I did that day in Paris. This sounds so weird coming from me — the indecisive perfectionist who is terrified of anything without structure. Because there’s not one set route to becoming a successful photographer, and that uncertainty scares me.
So in the spirit of being scared, here are my incredibly huge, scary, and absolutely wonderful goals:
- Become a published fashion photographer
- Speak about photography at IFBcon within the next 3 years
- Host workshops to help people improve their photography
- Take amazing portraits for real, wonderful people
- Create helpful free content for people who want to learn more about photography
- Do a photo shoot with beautiful my sister in Ireland (she’s the one at the top of the page)
That was terrifying. I may be setting myself up for failure here…
But I’m realizing that I need to get over my fear of failure. I know for a fact I’ll kick myself when I’m 99 for not at least trying to accomplish these goals. Life really is too short to not try, to not do what you love, to not leave room in your day to get immersed in what makes you come alive.
I’m putting this out there — onto your screen — so that I can be held accountable for at least trying to reach my dreams. Because I can tell myself it would be nice for all these things to happen but it’s more likely to come to fruition if I have accountability.
Now I want you to do one thing for me, okay? I want you to ask yourself what it is you love to do. What it is you’ve been terrified to tell your best friend or you family members that you really want to do. It may be a project or a life goal of yours, but I want to encourage you to do one thing today that’s going to get you closer to it.
And if you want, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. I love encouraging people, so I wanna know what your dream is! ;)
Whatever it is you want to do — you can make it happen if you’re willing to work for it.
You are capable and you are amazing.
I want you to know that.
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