As I sit here packing my bags for a beautiful wedding in Mexico, I can't help but reflect on the past year and how many blessings God has given to me.
If you had told me last year that I'd be shooting weddings internationally or even in different states, I would have thought you were joking. I am living my dream, and I couldn't be happier.
Running your own business is a leap of faith. It's faith in yourself and in God's plan for your life, and it's both amazing and terrifying at the same time. It's scary because you are putting everything you have into it, and if you fail, you lose all of those things. But you can't say or even think the word fail, because you won't. You won't fail if you want it badly enough. You just have to work. Hard. Every hour of every day. You have to dream about it at night and work from the moment you wake up until you can't work anymore. You have to make coffee your best friend and enroll the support of all the people in your life.
Then there are the special people who take a chance in you and make you believe in yourself more than you did before. People like LeahandMark.com who took a chance on me at the beginning of the year and gave me an internship. If it were not for Mark Tioxon, I might not be here right now. I learned things about photography in the internship with him, but I learned more about myself. I learned that I am a confident, talented women. I learned that being shy is getting me no where and I have to be demanding sometimes. I learned to push though and to never stop pushing. I thank him everyday for that.
You also have to make friends that are trying to do what you're doing. I started this year with absolutely no photography friends here in Atlanta and now I proudly have 20+ strong, and amazingly talented friends who inspire me to be a better photographer everyday. Thank you to Laura Polmear, Kristen Bell, Marj Merges, Jennifer Nash, Mia Baker, Theary Meak, Amanda Summerlin, Leah and Mark Tioxon, Hein Ngo, and everyone else who's ever been a second shooter for me, let me second shoot for them, or talked to me for hours on G-chat or facebook about photography. Its been wonderful having all of you in my life, and I hope your passion for making art takes you to amazing places.
Today I am feeling very blessed and very thankful, and as I look forward to the rest of this years weddings and the places they will take me, I wanted to look back at where I've been. This year I've been to Vietnam, Japan, (and going to Mexico tomorrow!), New York City, Washington DC, Charleston SC, Chattanooga TN, Portland ME, Kansas City KS, Lincoln NE, Myrtle Beach SC, and I'm not done yet. It's always been my dream to travel the world and photography is making that happen. I would like to encourage all of you to drop what you're doing and ask yourself...what is my passion? What have I always dreamed of doing? Then I challenge you to go for it. Take that first step. Make your dreams come true, because only you have the power to do so.