Sunday, April 5, 2015


It's been 9 years. 

9 years since I first picked up a camera and took a picture of a girl in a white dress. 

9 years of learning.  Honing my craft. Pushing myself. 

The images from my first year are so terrible. 
I look at them and laugh and wonder why anyone hired me.

There were things I wanted to accomplish. Some of it I achieved and some I didn't.

This is my gratitude list:

* Join the boys club in my town and become one of the ones at the top. 
* Be published on national, international and local wedding blogs.
* Take part in a reality show.
* Photograph editorials
* Organize and photograph a local fashion show for our VA designers
* Make lots of friends from all over the US of A in the wedding industry.
* Meet a whole lotta great people in love
* photograph weddings from other cultures: Korea, Africa, Poland.
* See my work in print media
* Be voted top photog in the city twice

Here's what I learned along the way:

* Never stop competing against yourself
* Don't compete with anyone else
* Give 100% every time
* Creativity is always possible
* Flexibility wins
* A smile and a listening ear will take you far
* Failure is going to happen.  Grieve it.  Get up and keep moving.
* Make your clients success your success.
* Be kind.
* Be interested.
* Don't get stuck in ruts.  Try new things.
* Work hard. 
* Be your best.
* Stand out from everyone else. 

And now.  Now as I turn my eyes away from the camera and onto ministry. 

Now as the insecurities flood in.  The fears of failure.  The fears of being failed.  As I start to feel that need to compete with other people, or to do what they do.  Or be where they are.  Or be who they are.  It's beautiful to look at these lists and remember.  Everything starts somewhere.  And somewhere is never the at top of the game.  Jesus defines the top in this new arena.  He defines the goals, the wins, the next thing to come.  And I'm not alone this time around.  <3 br="">

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