Sunday, March 14, 2010

How Do You Inspire?

There’s an awesome workshop giveaway at iheartfaces right now, and as much as I would LOVE to win, I’m not sure I have the kind of story they’re looking for. You see, it’s supposed to be a story about how you inspire others…which is hard. Who really sits down and thinks, “Did I inspire someone today?” I know I never do; however I hope that in everyday actions, I spread a little joy, happiness, and love.

In the past year or so, I’ve realized that I want to be a photographer when I 'grow up.' I’ve always loved photography. I remember having the camera with the little flash cubes, and then carrying my pink Polaroid everywhere snapping shots of friends and family. I’ve had a camera obsession as long as I can remember. There were photo shoots in my bedroom with friends at sleepovers, complete with sheet backdrops on the wall. When I got engaged, I became fully engrossed in photography websites, hanging on each tiny detail that had been captured at the weddings of others. I was in love. While the photographers at my wedding were amazing, their customer service stunk! My mind started turning with how I could capture these details and emotions and offer fabulous customer service too.

A short 9 ½ months later, we welcomed our first baby, and things got too busy to think about learning an art that I so admired. So, I relied on others to capture the details of our evolving family. Several years passed, another baby was added and still I had this burning desire to learn more about photography. Finally, last summer I bit the bullet and bought my first DSLR. I was hooked, but frustrated because my images weren’t what I wanted them to be. I enrolled in a course at a local college and learned more in 9 weeks than I could’ve imagined. I did some shoots with friends, who couldn’t have been any more supportive. I quickly realized that I had outgrown the camera I had purchased, and upgraded a little bit. I still don’t have exactly what I want, but it’s a step in the right direction. Now, comes the hard part: perfecting my skills, my vision, and taking that leap. I am scared. to. death. I want to do this, but those feelings of doubt threaten to take over every day. I want to capture those moments between a new mother and her precious baby, tiny hands and tiny feet, the bonds that only siblings have, and families that want to remember each detail just like I did (do). I want to give that to others and make them feel special, because I know how much it means to me feel that way and to see images of my own family living in the moment.

So, while I haven’t overcome any great hardships like so many have, perhaps overcoming my own self-doubt has proven to be the most difficult of all for me. I still have so many questions and many things to learn, and I know this workshop would be a phenomenal experience for me. I try to inspire others through acts of kindness, helping hands, prayers, little notes, tasty treats, and long talks. I long to inspire others to find their passion, and follow their dreams no matter what they might be. I hope to be a shining example of that someday. I saw a sticker last week that said, “What are you Waiting For?” It’s now my mantra.

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