Looking at 2018

suc·cess

/səkˈses/

noun

The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

Believing in yourself isn't always easy... its actually not

easy most of the time, for me. I've found its kind of this viscous cycle of needing to know your worth to succeed but at the same time needing to succeed to know your worth.

For a long time (I'm talking 15 years long time) I've known that I love to take photos, and that I'm usually better than the random person you ask on vacation to take your families iPhone photo. But did I think I was far off? Not really. I knew I had a sort-of talent but was too afraid to make the jump for fear of putting myself out there and failing. Taking photos is an art and its putting a piece of yourself out into the world to more or less, be judged. Its hard and scary and intimidating, even more so now in the age of Instagram where everyone thinks they're a photographer. So I kept my head low and did photos for family and friends, not really advertising what I was doing for fear of being looked at in a negative way. At some point in 2016 I said fuck it and gained enough confidence in myself to create a small business.

​​Fast forward 2 years and 57ish shoots later I made a gigantic leap, I not only shot a wedding, I shot 3. I began to realize that I trusted myself enough to know I could present clients with good content. Trusting yourself is a huge turning point in creative design. If you can't put faith in yourself and your work, how can you expect anyone else too?

So in August I decided to do just that. I worked a full time job and shoot/edited 20+ hours a week on the side. I had found the meaning of hustle. I didn't complain when I didn't have much of a social life or was up until 1AM for nights on end finishing sessions.. my head and my heart were in it. Looking back on this past year I am still in shock to see how much photography work I did. 35+ shoots and most of them were done within a 4 month period. I always say the October is the equivalent to an accountants April. My Instagram (where most of my things are advertised) had grown from 80 profile views in a week to 1,877. So all the hours of sleep I lost and all of the "can't I'm working" texts I sent back to friends were 100% worth it. The only regret I had was not believing in myself earlier.

The goal for this year wasn't to book weddings or get the most amount of shoots possible. It was actually to just improve. Period. I wanted to get better and be better than I was the year before. May of 2018 is where I began to notice the corner I was turning. I sold my Nikon D3300 and upgraded to a Canon 7D. My Nikon was an amazing starter camera but I'm so proud of myself for outgrowing it. It's always bitter sweet to say goodbye to something that was so good to you. It was what I learned everything I knew up until that point on. After I got my feet wet with my Canon and felt like I had a good handle on it I began to really go for it and put my work out there. It's funny, I didn't really consider myself a photographer until the last few months.. even though I knew I was one long before that. Its difficult to attach your name to something so big yet also something you're afraid and unsure of. But now, at the end of 2018 I can finally confidently say that I am a photographer.

To sum all of this up, I just want to thank every client, every friend, Gary and even myself for encouraging me and believing in me. Without my clients I wouldn't have the confidence I do today. This year was amazing and I'm projecting next year to be even better. Six weddings in the book for 2019, one of witch I am traveling to Charleston, South Carolina for. I'm lining up boudoir, lifestyle, newborn and family sessions as 2019 begins. I can't say for sure what this coming year will look like for me but as far as I can see I like where it is going.

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© 2019 SAMANTHA LAWRENCE