You ever had a moment when life just hit you and made you stop for a second, and your life just flashed before your eyes at that particular moment. Well, I had one of those moments in a recent photo shoot, as a matter of fact, it was at the very moment I was focusing in on my subject about to release the shutter button. And BAM life just hit me at that moment, and I guess you can say I had an epiphany or more of an ah ha moment about my life and my calling. As 2018 begins all I can say is that 2017 was a year of growth and learning to embrace the challenges in life head on fearlessly with no regrets. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s has been extremely scary, and after my latest podcast panel, I recorded I discovered I hate feeling vulnerable. I love to feel like I’m in control and at that very moment when I feel like I’m losing control, it scares me. Maybe that is why I over analyze every decision I’ve ever made, but we can save that for another discussion.
Here’s a funny story about me, I didn’t walk until my first birthday party. My parents were getting a little worried about me not at least getting up and attempting to walk. It wasn’t until someone tapped my mom on the shoulders at my first birthday party and said “Did you know JaVaughnae could walk?” My mom’s response “I haven’t even seen her attempt to pull herself up!” And from that very moment, my mom said she discovered she had a kid who has to create the perfect scenario in her head before she attempts anything in life! Yeah, that’s me and that how I got into photography.
Maybe that is why this past year had been a particularly interesting year for me because it was the first time I stepped out of my comfort zone and begin to pursue photography. I had been very hesitant about pursuing photography because to be 100 % honest; I just didn’t feel like I was good enough to branch out into the photography world. I felt like I still needed some more practice to master the skills required to become a photographer. To be flat out honest, I was scared to do so because it was a whole new world to me. True enough I had begun taking classes to earn a certificate in photography at the local university in my hometown, but to me, it still didn’t feel like enough. Yes, I had taken pictures of my family and friends to practice the skills I had learned in my classes, but still, I didn’t feel like it was enough. It wasn’t till my dad looked at me and said so are you going to use that camera or what? I realized at that very moment that to make it happen; I had to give it a try! Shoutout to my dad he’s always been a source of honesty in my life. He keeps it real, and I am thankful to have him in my life.
I still remember one of my current clients said to me before I got into photography “I support you 100% and be sure to let me know when you start taking clients. I want to be one of your first clients.” Sure enough, when I decided for myself that I wanted to pursue photography, she sent me a message to ask me to take her maternity pics. She was one of my very first clients. I was so nervous shooting her maternity pictures because her due date was the next weekend and it was 30 degree’s outside that day. So these pictures had to be perfect. I think my hands froze that weekend trying to hold my camera.
So as I sit here reflecting on that very moment when life hit me while I was pressing down on my shutter button during that photo shoot four life lessons came to mind that I learned in my life from my journey to pursue my passions in photography.
1. Trust in Your Talent/Believe in Your Artistry: Even if no one sees your vision in life, you have to trust in your talents. God gifted you with your unique talents to pursue. It’s your job to use your talents to make your mark in the world, so don’t be afraid to use them. I’m not here to tell you that pursuing your passion is always going to be 100% comfortable, but you owe it to yourself, your dreams and your visions to trust in them and pursue them fearlessly. And remember God gifted them to you for a reason.
2. Have Faith: Even when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you have to have faith in the beauty of your dreams and your talent. I know we can get discouraged when this plan we have in our head so perfectly well crafted doesn’t work out the way we imagined. But you have to remember to enjoy the journey and have faith in yourself even in the darkest times. Remember God gifted you these individual talents for a reason and you should lean on faith and never question your life purpose. Just keep working to build yourself into the person you always imagined that you could be.
3. Trust the Process: One of the toughest lessons I have had to learn in my life is the concept of trusting the process. When I was younger, I wanted things just to happen when I said it should happen, but this thing called life is quick to remind you that you aren’t in control. And sometimes that reminder can be one of the toughest things to experience, but it’s needed to help you grow into the best version of yourself. I love the woman that I am becoming due to my journey of relaxing and trusting the process.
4. Remember that Every Professional had to Start Somewhere: I know with the popularity of social media in our lives we’re so quick to compare ourselves to others, but we must remember that everyone’s journey is unique to them and we have no clue what they had to endure to get where they are in life. So never compare your work or self-worth to others. Remember that perfection isn’t a reality, and don’t be so hard on yourself. I know that I can look at a photo for hours and find a million things that I think is wrong with it that others don’t even see. Give yourself the permission to grow and understand it takes time to develop a skill, but you have to start somewhere, and permitting yourself to begin matters more than you’ll ever know. If you never start you will never know.
Do I have it all figured out? Heck NO…I’m still learning and growing every day. And as I turn 30 in a few weeks I’m 100% ok with the journey God has laid out for me because God’s timing is always right. And I will never question it. I hope these lessons that I have learned on my journey of pursuing my passion for photography will help and inspire you on your journey to pursuing your purpose and passion in life. If so let me know and comment below.