Overcoming fears and finding joy.

Fear is an amazing force and it can completely take over your life if you let it.

For many years I’ve been afraid of my business, of people, of photography. I’ve always felt the excitement during the session and often loved my work afterward, but the anticipation and nervousness got to me at times when I knew a big day or even a mini-session was approaching. I’d always hope to please my clients to the best of my ability. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people, even with family portraits, and I hope to have them love what they receive!

I’ve often let this fear creep in and take over my thoughts and actions. I’ve often wanted to throw in the towel and give up. It would be far easier to do so. Countless times I’ve told Chris that this session or that wedding was going to be my last. And after going through the photos and editing that “last” time, I start to feel overjoyed and want to keep going… of which he’d ask, “what do you want me to support you in again?” the poor guy.

This past year, I thought I was done. I posted this on my website:

I am very grateful you are here and welcome your interest in my photography. At this time, I am allowing my business to appreciate some quiet time. I am accepting a limited number of sessions this year. I feel a strong calling to make my family and other passions my priority.

To my surprise, I actually booked several sessions with clients who really were excited to work with me. It was amazing, fun, and inspired me to reconsider completely giving up and giving in to my fears of failure.

I hadn’t shot many weddings (or a ton of portraits) in the past few years since having Miles, and this past month I was super nervous for what was to come with two weddings in a row. I wasn’t sure if I’d remember what to do, what to capture. I took tons of notes, I reviewed books on techniques, I talked with my brides and I got a feel for what was important to them.

And then I took a deep breath and showed up to do the work.

I was super nervous to get it “right” even though being right in photography is so subjective. Every person has a different style; no wedding would be shot the same by two different photographers. The only right is for who I’m shooting for and that they love my vision to begin with.

I am more than just pleased with the images I captured the past month, and truly brought my “A” game. I wanted to not only give what was expected, but to go above and beyond, and learn something new in the process.

I chose to have fun instead of fear…

I overcame those big windows with the bright afternoon sunlight brightly backlighting the ceremony that kept me up at night.

I follow a lot of full-time photographers who’s work is amazing, but so varied from each other even so. It’s said “comparison is the thief of joy” and it’s true. All these years, I’ve wanted to be those I follow and who inspire me. Their work is perfect! I’ve ignored my wins and took the failures to be complete truths. I beat myself down, instead of lifting myself up.

What I learned this past month is that I am capable. I’ve got a lot of the technical aspects down. I’ve even got some of the “shot ideas” ingrained in my brain permanently. I’ve come a long long way since that first wedding I shot six years ago this month. A loooong way. Longer than I ever could have imagined.

There will always be more to learn, and I finally feel confident to get myself out there to learn more. I’m not giving up on myself. I’m giving in to the change, quieting the fears, and going with what I love to do – and that’s to meet new people, photograph in new places, and keep trying.

In honor of moving past my fears, tomorrow’s post will be a Fall Mini Session Special just for you!

– kn –