Share Your Flame
"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” ~ James Keller
As of late, I have had many people ask me why I would help other photographers build their business. Why I would share with them poses, lighting, and locations etc.
Why would I want them to be good and take from my business?
One thing I have learned in this business, is that everyone, even the greatest started at the bottom of the totem pole, and didn't have two sweet clues what they were doing. They simply had a passion for photography and wanted to learn.
I looked at my very first family photo shoot I did the other day and cringed. I remember at the time being so proud and thinking it looked amazing. Knowing what I know now, after studying, doing seminar after seminar, spending countless hours watching Sue Bryce, Luigi Fedeli, Sal Cincotta, Doug Gordon, Kelly Brown and so many other photographers and having my fiancé coach me till my eyes glazed over. I realize that I too, still have so much room to grow. Even the greatest of the great are still growing and learning.
The photography world comes out with a new invention and creative ideas everyday. Someone has to test them and get to work using them as tools to create new artwork.
If I didn't have the help I had when I started this journey, I may not be where I am today. I have made friends with some of the industries greatest influencers. In my naiveté I just started talking with them (there are some humorous stories that shall remain untold here) unaware at the time how little I actually knew. Instead of them disdaining me and refusing to speak to me, they were gentle and responded with kindness. Now they are among my best friends and I feel the open, unthreatened warmth from them.
Just last week I finally had a lightbulb moment with getting my lighting to the place I have been pushing for. I'm still working on it and haven't perfected it yet, but the excitement when that light bulb went off was something I talked about for days. I would tell Gene "I'm certain your tired of hearing this, but I am just soooo happy." He would smile and say "I know you are babe, and that makes me happy.”
Why wouldn't I want someone else to feel like that?
Lifting each other up by remembering where we all begin is going to bless you more than tearing each other apart. For me, it's not a competition. It's about learning, changing lives, hearing the young girl who was having a panic attack over being in front of my camera say "you made me feel so beautiful and you made it so easy" is what it's about.
A flower doesn't watch the flower next to it.. it just blooms. To all you who are starting out in a business whether it be photography, training, baking, whatever. Keep blooming in the direction your heart wants to go. Don't look around at others and how good they are. They worked hard to get to that point. Cheer them on. Remember a rising tide raises all boats and business is dynamic and not a static pie in that I have to jealousy guard my slice.
I will continue to strive to get better and more accomplished in my skill set. That isn’t to angrily protect my “territory” but to answer that creative drive for the pure joy of expressing the artist within me.
Don't look down on the ones starting out. Offer them tips and advice to help build them up. Remember there are always those above you and below you no matter what level you are at. In the end, you will be blessed by being the candle that lit another candle.
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And this is truly what life is all about. Giving of ourselves to be a blessing to others. While reading your beautiful blog, I was reminded of happenings in the past where folks did not have that same spirit of sharing; giving; blessing. We were with a gentleman who had a fabulous garden and yard, he truly excelled it what we did. When we ask how he did it, his reply was: "I would never share my tips, that's my secret". And then a lady who was asked to share a recipe, declared: "No way, I'll not give away my secret recipes". Those people truly miss out on the most wonderful part of life... feeling that inner joy and happiness of being a blessing, being a giver... to others. As the song says... "You can't beat God giving, no matter how you try". Blessings on your photography business.
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