“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It is why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” -Oprah
Remember who you wanted to be. Can you remember being a child and thinking you wanted to play in the NBA, or be a gymnast when you “grew up?” I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a photographer. More specifically, my attention was being a photo journalist. I have always had the need to show the world a moment, not just a photo. I needed to showcase the priceless reaction to emotion I felt from another creation. This is my favorite photo that I have ever taken in my 17 years of doing photography, and this is my son Khalil. We entered him in a baby modeling contest when he was just one year old, and he won first place in the most photogenic category. Can you see why? I knew from this very moment that I was already a photographer, and no matter what came to me on my journey, I would let nothing stop me from achieving my dreams. And I meant it.
This year in January, I quit my full-time job. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself, and I finally knew exactly how much I believed in my passion, and I trusted myself enough to do what I love. Since I have started my own business I have flourished as a photographer and the Universe is aligning the stars as they guide me through each step of this journey. I am consistently reminding myself of who I want to be, who I already am, and I take care to make choices with that in mind. See, we deserve to do what we love, and to dream as big as possible.
There is always a curiosity factor involved with my clients.They always ask me, “How did you start doing photography?” You see, it was meant to be. My grandfather loved photography and took a ton of photos while stationed in Greenland in the 1960’s. My great-grandmother, I recently learned, had a little secret of her own. She was a photographer, and taking photos of her garden was a way for her to be present, and to enjoy life. She was a nature photographer enthusiast and had the best location, her farm.
My response to many when asked how I started is simple, yet complicated. I began my love affair with photography as a child. I would look in my grandmother’s photo albums sometimes a few times a day. I look back at my obsession with those photos of my family, seeing photos of my grandmother in her square dancing skirt caught floating and twirling in time. It was then that I knew that there was a connection between what is shown in photos, and the emotion that the photographer was feeling at that exact moment. See, that was my advantage. By playing with light, emotion and my instinct, I am creating beautiful images that people can relive forever with their photographs.
Remember who you want to be. Write it down, make a vision board, and never allow circumstance to change your vision. Be clear about what you want, and believe full heartedly that you have a gift to share with the world.