I've noticed that I've been feeling extremely inspired and motivated lately. I've been shooting a lot, investing in education to guide me toward improvement, and optimizing my workflow. Feeling this inspiration and motivation has caused me to reflect on other times in these past years when I have felt the ebbs and flows of running a business and pursuing my passion.
For example, one of my favorite sessions in the time when I was beginning to navigate the intricacies of running a business was a senior session of one of my best friends in 2013. It was the very first time I felt proud of a whole set of pictures. I walked away from the shoot IN LOVE with what I had just done, and I was SO EXCITED to get home and edit. (side note: if you've ever worked with me before, you know that I still geek out over beautiful pictures, and I'm not good at hiding my excitement.)
But here’s the thing… those pictures were not all that great. I loved them because they were my personal best at the time. But looking back and realizing that they weren’t great doesn’t get me down; it motivates me to outdo my personal best. Of course, I’ve learned and improved in a multitude of ways since then, but sometimes I like to compare those pictures to my current ones and see how far I’ve come.
That’s what it’s about. Not just in photography, but in everything. It’s not about one-upping your neighbor, it’s about doing better than YOU did yesterday. It’s about honing in on your personal skills and consistently improving upon your personal best. I've learned that if I compare myself to other photographers, I begin to lose my sense of self and the creative spark unique to my own work. Ernest Hemingway said it best: "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." That's why I've been investing in my business and in my craft so much this year; I strive to be better - both for myself and for my clients.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of that photo shoot and one I did more recently, both with the same model.
It's a pretty big difference, huh? I've learned a lot since then. How to leverage light, how to compose and frame a photo, how to edit efficiently and effectively, and a bunch of other technical stuff you probably don't want to read about. By far the most important thing I've learned, however, is the importance of continued improvement. Learning new ways to get better can ignite all kinds of creativity and motivation, and when you feel creative and motivated I sincerely believe you can do great things.
Here are some more photos from Mikayla's session. I hope you love them, and I hope you can find ways to improve in your own personal passions.
Thanks for visiting and for taking the time to check out my work! Feel free to reach out any time.
*Do small things with great love.*