I belong to a local Meetup group called the South West Florida Shutterbugs and in two weeks we will be six months old as a group. In that six months we have offered learning opportunities, trips both local and out of area and have met some really cool people. Recently, we have initiated a mentor/mentee program and I have decided it’s time to take my skills to another level by working with an incredible portrait photographer. This will stretch my knowledge and also take me out of my comfort zone. I’ve already worked with him on a few shoots and he makes what he does look so effortless. I know this will make me better, especially when it comes to using off camera flash.
Now, for the next part, I will be mentoring a more beginner photographer. I really appreciate what has been taught to me and I want to give back. When I started shooting I had no one to guide me and I learned on my own. I learned that concerts and events were sometimes a crap shoot depending on the lighting, but now I go into them full of confidence in my own skills. This mentoring will hopefully allow another beginner to feel more confident with their camera without having to learn it all on their own.
If you are in the South West Florida area and want to join a top-notch photography group, feel free to check out Meetup.com. Happy shooting.
I made a decision over two years ago to work toward becoming a full time photographer. Life events changed and I needed to see if it was something I could do on my own. I set some small goals and took a year to see if I really could make it in this world of younger, more beautiful work. Of course that notion is one self-perceived and I have found my work speaks for itself. I went into 2015 with some specific goals in mind and then I was approached about the possibility of opening a studio. That’s a bit scary because I am not sure how I would actually fund that venture, so instead I am scaling back and reassessing my goals. I belong to a women’s group called National Association of Christian Women Leaders, Inc. (NACWL) and the past few months we have been talking about a vision of moving on, moving up, and moving out. I have taken the first step in all this with the moving on. I actually moved on very quickly because I had already made that decision months prior to actually doing it. As difficult as it was I felt it was something I was being led to do. That’s when I decided on the year of rebuilding and finding my footing again. I am now in the process of moving up. I re-evaluated the goals I had set in a five year plan (which has been accelerated) and I’m collecting the information I need to become a business owner, by doing research, talking with other photographers and relying on my mentor and friend who is an extremely successful small business owner and one who gave me stellar advice which I am implementing and I trust him explicitly, he sugar coats nothing and I adore him for that. He’s only a phone call away and if I need to talk something out, he’s there to listen and to help me see things a bit differently and to give me a reality check. I’m currently in phase one of creating an intimate in house studio in a small room in my small odd shaped apartment. During phase two I will be helped by a friend who is incredibly talented when it comes to ideas and construction (so glad I don’t have to rely on my own strengths for this). I know I can rely on him to help me decide the best method for rigging my drops and creating movable V-flats; another gem of a friend who has championed me through some decisions by helping me to look at things differently. I believe I will be in the moving up portion for a longer period of time than I was with the moving on portion. I know God has a hand in my life by the way things are moving, because there is no way I could be doing any of this without his guiding hand. I know that he has placed some incredibly positive people in my life to encourage me and love on me and to help me, and he’s brought me to a group of women leaders of whom I can learn and glean incredible knowledge from and gain a huge network of support. And to think this all came about with a ride on the back of a horse and some tough questions I needed to answer.