I watched a video of speaker Simon Sinek earlier this week and it hit home with me. The gist of his delivery was about how great leaders inspire action, be it Apple, the Wright Brothers or Martin Luther King, Jr. And it got me thinking. From the first time “start with why” left his lips, I began dissecting my “whys.” Why did I begin to blog? Why did I start a photography business? Why do I share my stories with you? Why bother?
I’m not by any means the first person in this big world to confess their reasons for doing something they believe in, let alone the first photographer. I always love to hear why photographers started their journey, not just the “passion for photography” part, but the meat behind it. I think many of us do it for the same reasons, but where those ideals first begin and started to form reasons all stem from different life experiences.
Chicago photographer Christy Tyler wrote a beautiful post about why she does what she does a few months back. She not only made an impact on her followers and clients, but her personal story behind her “why” sparked some attention. I also remember reading some inspiring words from fellow workshop attendee, Ester Robards in Milwaukee, though I can’t recall when or where she shared them. I do remember she had recently lost her grandmother and had wrote with conviction. Their declarations spoke to me and had me nodding in agreement; I understood where they were coming from though my “why” wasn’t the same as theirs.
While I may not be able to form my “why” into finessed words or pinpoint an experience, I know that I feel it. And much of what I do, I do for myself. Not “in pursuit of the result,” but in pursuit of making a connection with another person, being enamored with the families and couples that share their time with me, and hopefully finding more of myself along the way.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life so far, it’s that the people you surround yourself with make an impression upon you and, if you realize the awesome potential they offer, you can do nothing but become a better you.
Of course I also like what photography represents and being able to share my perspective. The time I spend with clients is usually light-hearted and it carries over into the end product. Each client, each session is always different, but my favorites are images that are uncut, just a moment in time that captured every emotion that was present. They fill my chest with a feeling of calmness and warmth.
I begin to feel my “why.”
Sinek went on to say that “the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” That can sometimes be tricky as not everyone has the ability to actually open themselves and express what matters to them. And “business” can sound like such a dirty word these days. So how do you approach it?
Being able to write has been the glue that holds it all together for me, this blog is the vessel that allows me to share my thoughts, my beliefs, in hopes of engaging with people that understand me, believe the same things I do and, in turn, inspire me.
I started my blog three years ago so I could have an outlet, a place where I could share my thoughts and the ever-humorous things that are my life. I never imagined I’d make such wonderful friends along the way. But though my content may have shifted over the years, I’ve never stopped putting myself into each post. Whether I’m writing about silly nuances, random things, my family and friends, or my photography sessions, I strive to keep my voice, my personality, my feeling present. And the people who have been on this journey with me, they are the ones that believe in me. (Thank you, friends.)
It’s sometimes hard to express through words. I tend to mumble through it, sometimes having those feelings get lodged in my throat; I have strong opinions about many people I’ve befriended over the years, but I hope that what I miss on paper shines through in my photography. I didn’t think I’d like all this as much as I do. The writing, the blog upkeep, the photography and everything that goes into it behind the scenes. But I do. It’s affected my disposition in a way I don’t think anything else ever could. But then, life has a way of surprising us.
Life and what it brings… that is why.