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Friday, May 1, 2009

Friends with Benefits

When I was in junior high, there was a boy in my life who was like my big brother. Our families were great friends and we spent a lot of time together. There were days we got along, and days we didn't... I suppose like a real brother and sister (I am an only child, so I dont know this for certain). When I was in 6th grade, he was in 7th grade. We were finally at the same school and I thought it was so cool that I knew someone in 7th grade. One day he came out of his class and told me he'd written a story about me. I was blown away and I couldn't wait to read it. But my little heart was crushed into a million pieces when I began to read and realized that he'd made "me" into a fat, ugly annoying girl named "Beatrice". Now I have nothing against the name Beatrice... but ever since that day, every time I hear the name, I cringe.

Words are powerful. So powerful they can motivate people to act, tell a story of a place faraway, or do irreperable damage to a young child.

Today I received my first negative blog comment.

I am no longer a child, but the words still hurt my adult, almost 24 year old heart.

I am new in this industry and love what I'm doing. I am trying to find my own voice, and my own style. With that comes criticism. I suppose I knew it was coming, I just didn't know when. I would love to be one of those people that reads it and moves on... but I'm not. I read it and held back tears.

I started photography as a hobby. It was something I loved and something I wanted to pursue. After a couple of really difficult years (read more about that HERE) I am at a better place in my life than I ever thought I would be. I am surrounded with people who love and support me, and I am dreaming big and doing something about it.

I have been so blessed by wonderful people who have helped me along the way... and I do not by ANY means claim to have "made it" or be the best at what I do. I am still so new and learning so much, and I am still trying to find my style in this huge world of photography. But I have been endlessly supported and inspired by a few wonderful people in the industry who have been generous with their time, resources and gifts. I am endlessly indebted to them because their passion has rubbed off on me. I would NEVER purposely copy someone else's work or style. I don't claim to know everything, and I openly share about the fact that I look to other people to inspire and help me.

I suppose I don't have to defend myself, or my work... but this blog is a record of my growth and progress for myself, as well as my bumps and road blocks along the way. I suppose I will receive more negative comments in the future. I wish that weren't the case. If people could simply love and support one another, even when they're competitors or in the same industry... if people could learn to work together and share life with one another, I think the world would be a better place. I hope and pray that I will one day be a fraction as good and successful as my friends in this industry... but for now, I will continue to work hard and love what I do.

Thank you so much to those of you who have supported me and loved me through this journey. I am blessed to have you in my life... whether that is every day, or one chance encounter. I am better because of you!

On another (somewhat related) note, Chris and Erin Austin just launched a brand new website and it is INCREDIBLE! I would encourage you to check it out and see what they're up to. They are a great talent and are doing really well for themselves. I met both of them at a Trash the dress shoot that they hosted. I was so fortunate to be one of the models (if you can call it that). One of my favorite pictures of me from that day is featured on their new website:
Make sure you check it out HERE and give them some great feedback!


KHK said...

I think you do a wonderful job Diandra, and no matter what anyone else says, keep doing what you love. That's what's the most important. So keep your chin up, you've got a lot of supporters :oD I love YOU!

Tira J said...

Hey Diandra! You are doing great and this blog is proof of that you are trying to find your place in this crazy world. Don't let someone else rain on your parade. They are either jealous or just have nothing better to do. You are loved!

Suany said...

Who care's if that person doesn't like what you do...I'm sure there is more of us that love it... I've told you before and I'll keep saying it..."You are good at what you do"...God blessed you with so many talents. You are so sweet and nice and I guess that's why it gets to you but don't worry...God loves you so much and that is what really matters.

Diandra Ann said...

Thanks guys! Sometimes people are just mean... but I guess you have to just keep going!

Anabel said...

I love your blog and reading of your thoughts and your excitement of life and jobs. You do a great job giving credit where credit is due. That's what professional artists, authors, photographers and etc. do when given permission by other professionals to use their work. That's why when we use photos or words of our mentors we tell others. Also, a word to the wise, I do not read but I immediately delete anything that comes from an anonymous source. The type of comment you got came from what we call, (in a class I took) a "sapper." Sometone who exposes themselves to you in a destructive manner and tries to steal your goals, enthusiasm, excitement and drains you of your esteem is called a "sapper."
Hold your head high and march on with confidence and a smile on your face. YOU ARE A WINNER!!!!

Anonymous said...

story of my life; no joke!
but girly, yknow, people will ALWAYS try to bring you down, especially when your spirits are high. at least, that's what i've witnessed while going through high school.
"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out." [Prov. 24:19-20]
hang in there! i love you! <3

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heston said...

I know it's hard, but try not to take criticism too personally. Goes with the territory. I remember my first portfolio review. Literally took the guy ten seconds to go through it and push it back to me. All he said in a real emotionless tone was "You got some good shots there." That was about 14 years ago. If I were to look at my portfolio that I had then, now, I think I would have done the same thing. Take it for what it is and grow from it. Prove people wrong. You are making great strides in a short amount of time!

Anonymous said...

I had to comment....I have come over to your blog a few times and started following cause I saw you on Jasmine star's blog! (uber fabulous)I saw that you had a negative comment....I have had one of those and it was horrible...and i am sorry that you had one! Nobody should ever get one! Really, i don't even get why someone would do it!...anyway I had to write to tell you that the two of us seem similar...just starting out and doing what we love! I think you are great so keep up the great work!
I love the background to you blog!

Bianca said...

Whose kneecaps do I have to bust?

I'm gangster and when someone messes with a friend, I go CRAZY.

Diandra Ann said...

Thanks B! Its okay... they havent said anything since so I think I silenced them :)