This advice changed my life.
I love helping people out. I love getting to teach fellow photographers what I've learned, which is why I created this brand in the first place! I wanted to share with you some advice that changed my life when it comes to this world of photography.
It's something that's pulled me through the creative slumps and the times where I felt like I was coming up short or just not making things happen.
A few years ago, I somehow was lucky enough to be able to interview a National Geographic photographer over the phone. Nat Geo is pretty much the dream so you can imagine how stoked I was!
I basically asked him something along the lines of "How do I get from here to there?"
He told me: you create your own dream job. Don't wait around for someone to send you on assignment to Kenya, go to Kenya and send yourself on assignment. Learn a language, get to know a place, take the photos you wish were assigned to you. Pretty soon you'll attract the right jobs.
I took that to heart.
Am I on track to become a National Geographic journalist? No, because dreams change. But the advice still applies.
I've switched paths a few times in my photography career. I went from taking silly photos of my friends, to photographing my own outfits for a fashion website, to shooting weddings, to small elopements, to product and social media photos, to travel and tourism photos, to lifestyle and everything in between. I feel like I've done it all sometimes!
But every single time I switched gears it wasn't because I suddenly got hired for something I had never done. I usually had to create my own dream job and then that drew the right clients. For example, when I was phasing into elopements, I had only really done big weddings at that point. So I started shooting couples I knew and put it on my website that I was only taking small weddings from then on. Somehow the right people found me and it all worked out.
Once again I find myself at a cross roads. I know that I love photography education, I love shooting travel, I love fashion, I love shooting my own life. But I'm still figuring out how to define that into the job I love.
Maybe you're on the cusp of something great too. I hope you can take this advice and make it your own: go out and start doing it without getting paid. Switch gears if that's what you want. You don't have to stick to one thing forever.
I hope to see you out there doing something great, wherever your heart beats hardest.