I'm starting to feel like maybe I really am doing this, I really am making this work, I really am a professional photographer! Not that I'm there yet! But I at least once a week get messages from people asking for meetings, interviews, and can I help them be successful, help them with social media, how have I done it? I suddenly get people asking me to use their props in my shoots? To give gifts to charities. I have people I have never met saying "Hi Tracey" and they know me from social media.I still find it hard to believe. I'm doing classes, teaching people how to do what I do, mentoring people, and people are asking me how to do things, Me, really?
All I can answer, when people as me how I have done it, is say, "I really don't know!" I work hard, that I do know, even when I seem to be not working, I am, I'm planning, thinking, working things out.
I wish I had done this years ago. I wish I had had the freedom to try find out what I loved, what I really wanted to do.
I'm going to tell you a little bit about myself. I kind of always hated myself, had low self esteem, I was the kid at school with the glasses, braces, flat feet and fat. I adored my late Mom, but she had here own issues, and let me get away with often missing school, never doing homework. Oh I was told often that I was bright, that I could do better, that I should do better.
I was brought up to believe marriage was a necessity and dutifully married my first husband at 27. I think we both knew we were wrong for each other but love would solve everything, right? I believe the patterns we learn in childhood are what we often repeat as adults and my marriage was a unhappy one, don't get me wrong I have 3 amazing kids from it, and this is my story so I will not bring up what others did wrong.
I think I spent most of my life running, trying different things, having kids, moving countries, changing jobs, keep moving and you don't ever stop to think. I got married at 27, had my first son at 28, lost my mother to cancer 2 month later, moved to England 6 month later, another son within a year, who was born ill, my daughter arrived 2 years after that, I almost lost her to bacterial meningitis when she was 4 days old, but I just kept moving forward. Like one a road where you can't look back, can't stop for too long.
By the age of 40 I was remarried and my husband, Ken, gave me the best gift anyone has ever given me.
He said "I want you to take at least a year and find out what you want to do work wise, no pressure no worrying." He also had brought me my first dslr a year or so before. Within a few months I was taking photos for people and charging for what I did. I felt like a fraud, I wasn't a "real" photographer!
And then the real work started and is still going on, I love what I do, but want to be better, want to give people the best I can, I am my harshest critic. I read all I can about things I want to do better, go to college then I can, workshop, network, read, watch videos, ask, and ask again.
I love what I do, really love it, love my clients, most feel more like friends, and yes sometimes I get fed up, but then I think of the lady who cried when she saw how pretty she really is in one of my photos, the Husband who called to thank me for taking photos of his wife and showing her what he sees when he looks at her, and the gorgeous babies my client give me to hold when they are just days old.
All I can say is just keep going, put one foot in front of the other and keep going, try learn something new everyday, no matter how small. Move on from mistakes, try repair the faults you make and keep looking forward.
And always make your family come first!