When I first started as a photographer I was really excited, really insecure, really really hard on myself and really unsure of what exactly I wanted to do. I created from a place of pure joy (it was so fun!!!), but also from a place of wanting to do what other people wanted. I thought less about what I wanted to create and more about what I thought other people would like.
I imagine it’s a normal place to start from so I don’t begrudge my start, but I tell ya what: I’m glad I’m beyond that!!! It’s such a hard place to be. Aside from the fact that you’re always chasing approval from others, you’re also always threatened by other people. It feels like every other person taking photos is your direct competition. You worry that if your clients see what that person is doing, they’ll ditch you for the better option. You’re possessive of every idea you have and jealous of every idea other people have.
One of my first examples of “there’s room for all of us to be successful” is this kind, talented, gorgeous lady. She was my friend, my supporter, my cheerleader - my first ever photo friend who didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that I was a photographer too. When someone asked me if it was hard being friends with my competition, I honestly couldn’t even answer the question. Because she wasn’t my competition. We were just two people in it together. Both of us wanting the best for ourselves and for the other person. Turns out a little mutual respect can really go a long way!!!
Having other photographers as my colleagues and not my competition has paved a path for so much growth, but most importantly, peace of mind. Whether or not my work is better for having these people on my side (it is!), my heart is happier. And that’s what I care about most anyway!
Erin, thank you for making my heart happy when we’re behind the camera together and most certainly when you’re in front of my camera with your adorable family. I just adore you!!!
PS: You can view Erin’s work at http://www.egmphotography.com/ - it’s worth the click, trust me!