There is a very famous photographer who once said "being comfortable in photography can be the kiss of death". That once you are comfortable you quit pushing yourself to learn, be different, & dream. When I heard her say that I thought for sure that couldn't be true. When I first started Solie Designs I longed for the day to feel "comfortable" When I could feel like I had it all in the bag, knew what I was doing & essentially didn't have to work as hard. Cause when I first started out I spent all hours on youtube watching online tutorials on how do better my business, different editing techniques, the best way to use my camera. My life revolved around on how to launch my business and it seemed like an impossible dream to be where I am today.
Needless to say this year last year I finally felt comfortable. I had a steady flow of clients coming in, a good website, & I was respected by other photographers and business owners. With that comfort I didn't need to be aiming for the stars anymore, learning new ways of the business, or dreaming for something more. Not to mention I had been struggling between my business and family life. Everyday I felt like I was just trying to keep my head above water, between getting my work done and trying to be a good mother. I was starting to feel like I was failing at everything. So to feel comfortable in my photography abilities didn't feel like a bad thing at the time. Not to mention I finally decided to go through with getting a hysterectomy because of my long struggle with endometriosis and I felt like it was constantly effecting me and was becoming debilitating. Life seemed like a whirl wind & the only ray of hope I was grasping on to was that I was "good photographer". Until that was all put into questions too.
As a photographer one of the first things you need to do is figure out what kind of style you are going to be, whats your brand. I had always leaned towards the light and airy, film like look. I felt it was a timeless look that will never go out of style. Although I've always been great at editing photo's, I really can edit a photo anyway I want. But as a photographer you need to be consistent, so future clients know what to expect. I chose the light and airy style mostly because I would want that in a wedding photographer. So to receive emails from two of my brides who were friends, saying they decided they were going to switch photographers because they decided they wanted a different editing style "the dark and moody" made me questions everything. In my mind I thought "If no one wants the way I edit what the hell am I doing?! I might as well quit and not have to deal with the rejection". Not to mention the photographer who had reached out to my brides that they switch to, was someone I knew and worked with. So on top of it I felt stabbed in the back. I started to question everything, and then I realized I had lost the one thing that was comforting me... Photography. I really don't remember the last time I had felt so useless and worthless.
After all that what else to do but throw a pity party! I knew I needed to find a way to pull myself out of it. I'm not a quitter! If fact I'm not sure if I've really quit anything. So I tossed around idea's on how I was going to change things around before the new year. You know get my mojo back! I even though about changing my style to the "dark and moody" but I felt that would be a cop out. It was time to get over my pity party and stop consuming myself with something that was out of my control. Usually something like this wouldn't have effected me so much because I used to be pretty confident in my ability, but I realized it was because I had been coasting. I had gotten comfortable and with that had stoped growing, striving, and dreaming. Which in term meant I wasn't on top of my game. What that famous photographer said was right! I had gotten comfortable and had stopped growing, changing and dreaming! Whats the point of having a business if you don't have new goals to achieve, more excitement on the horizon... more hard work in the future. This whole ordeal had gotten me out of my comfort zone and made me re-evaluate my business and make some changes. I've signed up for a few courses, and we be revamping the website as well. But most of all I'll be focusing more on my business. I still have some things to figure out. Mainly how to juggle work and family. But as long as I stay uncomfortable and go back to the drive I had when I first started my business I think I have more amazing ventures in the horizon.
Now on to 2018!!! I've always talked about how amazing my clients are and 2017 was no exception. All my Brides and Grooms are so stunningly beautiful & kind hearted. One of the reasons I'm a photographer is so I can make make a bride and grooms wedding day stress free and fun! With that I've made several TRUE deep friendships with my brides! Not many photographers can say they go out to have sushi with one of their old brides just for fun, shot two of their best friends from elementary schools weddings, all while travel around the country in one year. I have to pinch myself all the time! 2018 looks like its going to be just as amazing! With so many stunning beautiful brides with extremely kind hearts, not to mention some of my best friends getting married too!!! It's going to be a great year and I can't wait for it to begin.
Lastly I want to thank my friends. I'm not sure how I would have gotten through this last year without you!