Hey guys, as I sit here on my couch with the cutest little puppy at my feet and another at my elbow, I got to thinking about my work. Why do I do what I do? I mean, I know why I do what I do, but do you? If the answer is no, then you’ve arrived at the right blog post.
To tell you more about my background as a human being (because I swear it ties in), I should first tell you that I fall under the Highly Sensitive spectrum. I am a person with an extreme sensitivity to her surroundings, emotions, and the emotions of others. I discovered this term when I enrolled in a psychology course to help manage my anxiety. The thing about being a highly sensitive person (or a HSP, as the pros like to call us), is that we have a list of needs that need to be fulfilled in our lives in order to maintain stability; these needs are crucial to lead a life with minimal amounts of anxiety. Still with me? I swear it’ll get more interesting from here on out.
So, among the list of needs (which has a ton of things on it like a balanced diet, exercise, etc.), is the need to express. People who are highly sensitive have this gnawing need to express themselves. Without expression, anxiety manifests itself instead of creativity. This is pretty much the epitome of my existence. If I don’t take photos, or write poetry, or do something else creative, I start to worry. A lot (about realllllllly dumb things).
Now, back to the why. One of the main reasons I take photos is because I need to. I literally have to do something creative otherwise I would be a wiry, anxious mess. Now, I promise you I’m not completely self- serving, I have way more important reasons to why I take photos of you wonderful people than just my own need to.
Reason number two: I love people. When I take photos of people, I find that spending time with them in session lets me in on their world. A world that I am not usually a part of. Photography is intimate and telling of who people are on a very, very personal level. In other occupations, we often see only the surface of what people want us to see; the impression they want to make. There’s a quote that sums it up in a way that cuts me to the core:
“If you want to know what someone fears losing, watch what they photograph.”
This quote is everything. People trust me with their most treasured humans and ask me to translate the love they have for them. I love the beauty and vulnerability that is brought to the table each time I have a photoshoot. It fills my heart to the brim.
Reason number three: It makes people happy, which in turn, makes me happy. I love the feeling of delivering those first teaser photos to my clients and getting the response that they are as in love with them as I am. I live to serve people, always have, and there is no greater joy than serving others in a way that is unique to them. It gives me all of the warm and fuzzies.
Reason number four: the sense of community. I have to admit, I’m an introvert. It’s actually quite difficult for me to go out and talk to strangers and try to get to know them. Once I do, though, I end up walking out of a session with new friends and people that I can’t wait to work with again. Not to mention the network of photographers, wedding coordinators, and florists out there who are doing the exact same thing that I am. I love that there are so many people willing to put competition aside and just be there for other people who are going through the exact same struggles, day in and day out. On days when I truly want to give up, it is often my fellow girl-bosses and entrepreneurs who pull me from the darkness and remind me why I started.
Now, I could go on and on about why I do what I do, so I’ll leave you with this: no matter the why of what I do, the bottom line is that I’m grateful for my gift. It serves others and is the reason that my heart is so damn full all the time.