Defeat + Positivity | The Balance of Both

Let’s talk a little about the feeling of defeat.

Everybody has moments (and to those who don’t, I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOU!) where it feels like you just keep getting knocked down over and over and over. 

I want to throw it back to when I first started this journey of photography about 4 years ago and my experiences with defeat.

I had just turned 19 years old and knew absolutely NOTHING about the photography business. I only knew that I liked to take photos and that I was good at it (I was definitely NOT as good as I thought I was). I was set that this is what I wanted to do from there on out. My dad knew a local photographer who could possibly mentor me. I asked and was overjoyed when they said yes. I tagged along with them on a shoot, brought my cheap-y portfolio that I was super proud of, and everything seemed awesome (or so I thought. They didn’t give me any mentoring or advice. I just shot with them, wasn’t given any insight on what to do or what to look for, and then we left.) They did say I had a good eye and that they loved my poses in my book and if they would mind if they used a few which seemed odd to me, but I didn’t care. I was so stoked that I would be learning from a professional and that my photography education would blossom!.. Well, they NEVER answered me after that and I was left in the dark with a broken heart.

Seriously. I was devastated.

 

Fast forward to a few months after that, my auntie Laurie’s best friend is a photographer in Arizona (shout out to Jennifer with Autumn ArtOgraphy. You are AMAZING!) who was able to help me with the business side of things and how her journey was going. She took photos of me to have as head shots and I was so excited! She was the reason I started my first photography page on Facebook and helped me come up with a name.

So “All That Jazz Photography” was born. And I WAS ALL ABOUT IT. I loved the name. I was totally legit (or so I thought) and life was good. Until I got a message from a woman in another state saying that I had the same business name as her and for me to change it. I told her it shouldn’t matter if it was registered with my state and that it wouldn’t affect her business since our states were so far from one another. She then messaged me back saying that I was too young to know any better, that she was a veteran and I was taking her livelihood from her, and that if I wanted to make it in this industry that I had to respect the people that actually do this as a profession. I didn’t argue, I changed the name and told her that it wouldn’t be a problem anymore. She then told me that when I became a legit professional that she would add me to some Facebook groups that could help me and for me to change my profile picture because a pop-up flash on my camera made me look like the amateur I was… OUCH. I deleted the Facebook page, took a break from photography, and focused on my two full time jobs I was working at the time. 

 

But, I missed it. 

Photography is a part of my soul and I felt empty without it. So I made a new page with a long name that probably nobody would have so they couldn’t bully me via social media. And it boomed. 

 

Fast forward again to about 2 years ago. I got a message from a photographer out of Espanola who wanted me to capture head shots for her named Kandice (I LOVE YOU! And we still need to take photos!). We messaged back and forth and I was so honored that she asked me. She messaged me a few weeks later and told me about a Facebook group I should join that was awesome and had photographers from New Mexico and that they were fun, supportive, and it was really informational. I requested to join and LET ME JUST TELL YOU that joining that group was the biggest pivotal moment in my career. This group welcomed me with open arms and I learned SO MUCH from this amazing group of professionals. I started attending workshops (I didn’t even know there was workshops offered in NM!!), taking CreativeLive classes, studying Pinterest for photo inspiration, made tons of new friends, assisted styled shoots, and just started reading everything and anything I could. All because of Kandice’s kind heart I was introduced to this amazing, life changing world that I never would have known about. 

 

You truly never know when one random act of kindness will change someone’s life. 

 

I’ve had my ups and downs. Every single day is a new learning experience for me. 

I’ve done almost a hundred portrait sessions and I have about 50+ weddings under my belt. I went through a rebrand which finally has my heart at peace. I run this business with my best friend and life partner. I flew to Louisiana to learn from the best of the best, Three Nails Photography. I work for a stellar modeling agency in Albuquerque. And I love every good and bad experience I have in this amazing journey I have embarked on. And I’m not saying any of this to be cocky or arrogant, I am mentioning these because if those two bad experiences wouldn’t have happened then I wouldn’t be where I am today

 

When I’m having a rough time I look back at these things that have happened. If I can get through those crappy times, I can sure as heck move forward onto much better things. Which I’m telling myself repeatedly over these last couple of weeks because of the move and series of unfortunate events that we are going through right now (please send me positive vibes!). 

 

So I am telling you all, don’t let a bad experience or a few stop you from achieving your goals. Whether it be wanting to be a photographer or a make-up artist or a magician or maybe you want to find the cure for cancer; the bad times prepare you to appreciate the amazing things ahead of you. Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel defeated. Use it to fuel your fire. Your passion WILL take you far. 

 

The struggle makes the journey worth it. I promise you that. 
 
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