The smell of salt was in the air as waves rolled in along Sullivan’s sandy beach. I stood waiting at the end of a long wooden board walk as I watched a dog run wildly off leash along the shoreline. I snapped a few photos of the lighthouse in the distance, the sea oats swaying in the breeze, and some other beach plants that I’m not sure the name of. They looked pretty the way they were back lit, the edges of the leaves glistening warm yellow in the sunlight. As I waited for a family to arrive for their photo session, I thought about how much has changed in the past 7 months since I ventured out to start my own business, versus 6 years ago when I moved to Charleston.
When I moved to Charleston I feared that I wouldn’t be knowledgable enough to start my own business, skilled enough as a photographer to have people willing to pay me for my work, or personable enough to even land a job in the field I desired. The areas that I was lacking, in my mind, seemed to heavily out weigh my strengths. I remember calling every photographer in the phone book. This was 2010 so I have no idea why I was using a phone book and not the internet (huh?!?). I called them and asked to meet regardless of wether they were looking to hire or not. A few were willing. Many blew me off. I kept asking. I had no money, no job, and was barely making ends meet. I was desperate. I prepared myself for each meet up like an interview straightening my hair, ironing my clothes, arriving early and driving circles around the block to be sure I had the correct address. I was a nervous mess. I offered to second shoot, to assist, to sweep floors and clean studio bathrooms. I was willing to do anything to make a few bucks and learn from a professional.
What happened between then and now? Well, a whole lot. It’s hard to even try to pin point the specific events that were catalysts for change. Really, it was so many things happening over the passing time. Relationships that ended, new ones that I made, conversations that I had, decisions that I made…or didn’t make. Learning about the priorities that I set for myself was a big part of it. Following my truth even when it clashed with others. Trusting that I am protected, provided for, and good enough just as I am. Leaning into the things I feared rather than running from them. And a whole lot of ‘fake it till you make it’. Somehow though, I made it. Now I can’t pretend for a second that I still don’t have insecurities, or worry about making ends meet. It’s a thought, every now and again. But it’s not a constant worry. Fear doesn’t drive my actions or control my thoughts today, and it didn’t (by the Grace of God) hold me back from taking the leap of faith to start my business.
The Posey family arrived for their family photo shoot wearing classic white, cream and sea foam turquoise shirts. As we walked down to the ocean the sky opened up in perfect timing with this amazing yellow orange light burst through the cool blue clouds. The sunset was just wayyyy too gorgeous. I took some photos of the kids with the lighthouse and the sun bust behind them. This crew was sassy, and they sure knew how to work it in front of the camera- especially Linden (the only girl). What a fun time we had, and what an amazing life I get to live today getting paid to follow my passion. I am not sure if life had to be as hard as I made it for myself. A little more faith would have gone a long way back then. I will say though, everything I ever wanted has been on the other side of fear.