Thursday, August 22, 2013

Confessions from a Photoholic

I'm a confident person.  I was raised that way.  There is a benefit to it, I stick to my guns in adversity, I know what I want and don't have much to regret.  Another benefit is I usually don't have an issue with putting myself out to the public.  It is the person I have been all my life.

It was about two years ago, I was just over a year into my trying to turn my love and hobby into a business.  I started building my portfolio and trying to make a website when I joined a group on Facebook of like minded photographers.  One of the leaders in the group asked for people to volunteer to put their information out for critique.  I was so excited and jump on the opportunity to have the opinion of someone more experienced then myself.  She got a few other photographers to give their information to her as well.  A long story short:  She was very mean.  I love criticism, it is one of the best ways to get better but the only way for it to be effective is for it to be specific criticism.  She tore me a new one.  She told me in no uncertain terms that I should quit before I started, that I was horrible , my website was terrible and I had no eye for photography.

(This is what happens when you are sick enough you can't leave the house...)

I was heartbroken.  I shared my heartbreak with a close friend and her response was to agree with the stranger.  I was shattered.  I'm not a crier but my eyes were moist.  I'm not one for emotional reactions but I was crushed.  Not only did this established photographer think I was horrible a close friend of mine agreed!  I was dark... Not so far is a deep dark cavern, but a deep dark hole... yea that'd be accurate.  I mean, I didn't want to write my blog, I didn't want to touch my camera, I didn't want to answer my phone... I didn't want to touch anything related to photography and for a while I didn't.

I honestly might have quit.  I was so crushed that I didn't know how to manage.  If it were just the stranger or just my friend but some how the combination was just too much or so it seemed.  Chris love and support is what brought me out of it.  He was amazing and dealt with the crazy that was me... and let's be honest: still is me!  It was  long journey back from the hurt despite all Chris love and his support.  Part of what helped me: I joined a different group and found the amazing Lydia Maybe.  Anyone else here raised on Anne of Green Gables?  Well, Lydia is my bosom friend.  Everything hasn't been "peachy keen" since but it was an amazing lesson to learn.  Criticism is only as good as the source it comes from and whether it is given from a helpful heart.  Lydia is actually who helped me learned that lesson... To defend Chris, he stated it first but it is always easier to hear it from a stranger.

Point:  This is the first blog of many confessions.  I really want to be real with you all.  I love what I do but I don't have this all figured out.  I want to have it all done... tied with a neat bow but I guess where would the adventure be in that.

Live. Love. Loud.

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