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!