Competition

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YES bassist Chris Squires (1948-2015)

First let me say the title of this blog post is a bit misleading.  You see I am not in competition with anyone,  I am a photographer who is confident in her work and who is constantly taking classes and being mentored by pro’s who have been doing it for a lot longer than I have.  I feel this is a key element to my growth, I must continue learning; I also enjoy sharing my knowledge to those just beginning too.

Interestingly enough I recently was “accosted” on a facebook concert photography group because I stated I shoot so I don’t have to edit and was told that it was impossible to do, well I’m here to tell you 95% of my concert photos are straight out of camera.  I do try to get it right in camera which saves editing time and I am able to get the photos placed in a gallery before the concert is a “past thought” and out of the mind of the fans.  I am also a Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and various other social media user and it’s imperative that I follow the subject I am photographing.  More than once this has paid off with my photo being shared and used within the social media world of the artist; this is a success to me.

Heart (21)

Back to competition, I’m not speaking about online competitions which have no bearing to my photography or my over-all self-esteem.  I don’t need to “prove” I am worthy to the general public, I receive that often with simply posting my photographs in social media.  Nothing beats having artist management contact you to use your photos within their social media page! One day I am sure to venture in the world of photographic competition, but when I do it will be for something a lot more prestigious than a simply “attaboy” in an online gallery.  The competition I am writing about is that which something deep inside says “I must be better than everyone else” or I am a failure.  You see I had this mindset for a few years, thinking that everyone was so much better than I am.  This sort of self-talk degrades a person’s self-esteem, trust me I have been the queen of negative self-talk.  A couple of years ago it finally dawned on me, I don’t need to be in competition with anyone except myself; to challenge myself to become better and grow in knowledge of my camera and all aspects of photography.  As soon as I changed this mindset I began to draw clients and create opportunities that few will ever realize in their life.  I competed with myself and I am winning! I am in more venues that I could have ever imagined.  I have been privileged to photographed rock bands, country artists and met some incredible people along the way.  I have photographed happy brides and ladies diagnosed with cancer in their most vulnerable moments, and I have photographed some incredibly beautiful women who would not allow just anyone to take their photo; to me this is success and to think I didn’t have to enter any competitions to do any of this.  Keeping a positive attitude and a smile on my face is my way of life.  It’s amazing how many incredible people you draw into your life when you are positive and upbeat.  Every single day I look at how far I have come in just a few short years and I am really excited about where my future will take me, I know it’s going to be somewhere great! Why do I know this? Because I am in competition with no one, but mysef.

Mother's Day shoot-16

My New Valentine

Sunset at Bunch Beach
Sunset at Bunch Beach

I have titled this blog My New Valentine, because that is exactly what it is, I have found a new love; ME!
I normally don’t use this blog for the personal stuff, but it is my blog and I am human and every now and then I need to post my more personal life.  My main New Year’s resolution this year is to live more authentically and that means to be open and transparent in my life.

I have been going through relationship issues and trying to find who I am once again.

I knew for a couple of years  I needed to remove myself from this relationship, however I was in love and wanted to make it work, then something happened which began another year and a half simply because he ‘needed’ me to be there for him. I stood by him, believed in him and I did what I had to do because I loved him and wanted to help (isn’t that what love is about, the good and the bad?).  After this was over I felt even less appreciated and more taken for granted than ever, I felt used.  A few months later once again another life event and I was there to help, some of it labor intensive because I loved him and wanted him to be happy. What I didn’t expect was after he was finished using me, he wanted to end the relationship.  I resisted because he had always said  people aren’t willing to work through their problems, they would prefer to throw them out like the trash and I was willing to work through it, this was all a lie, in fact I realize now most of our relationship was a lie. At that point I figured out some other things were going on as well; a revelation which was a deal breaker for me, as much as I loved him, I deserved better and a lot more respect. I decided I would not tolerate being used, lied to and cheated on any longer.
I refuse to be a victim, and chose to move forward with my life and reclaim the person I had been missing.

Unfortunately the poor choice to spread lies was made in a public forum; must have been the guilt. I took the much higher road and refused to respond; call it maturity.
Considering the hurt and betrayal I felt, I also felt foolish for not seeing it sooner, but love will blind you to the negative, because you don’t want to see it in someone you love. I am not perfect and it takes two to make a relationship, however it’s difficult when only one wants to try.

From this I have become incredibly happy, stress free, healthy and successful. I wish only the best for those who have been in my life. As a friend recently told me, I simply outgrew the relationship, and it was time to move onward and upward. I have healed and moved forward with life. My photography business has increased in ways I would never have imagined, I am still doing the type of photography I truly love and have a passion for, I have a group of friends who have stood by me and encouraged me, God is working through me in ways I could have never imagined and I have improved my life and my outlook and I am no longer in a toxic relationship.
Life is incredible and on this Valentine’s Day I don’t need a relationship to make me feel like I am important, special, or beautiful. I already know I am all of these things and so much more. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!