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Learning through love, not fear

Man oh man oh man!! As you know, I have switched my main focus from shooting weddings (which I will still doing! BTW!! Just a limited amount :) ) to commercial work - specifically small business entrepreneurs who are women and have a purpose behind their brand.

So, as a little extra help to make sure my full purpose isn't because of someone else- but rather a purpose that fuels me, my team, etc- I enrolled in B-School and elegant Excellence.

PHEW! That first class I did really got me FOCUSED. Thank goodness. I knew what I wanted to do, but didn't know why- and I truly never gave myself the time nor the space to think about it, and the few prompt questions to get your brain ticking in the first 30 minutes of the class made some giant breakthroughs.

For you to understand where I'm coming from, you really have to know me- like nitty gritty details throughout my life.

Here's the cliffs notes:

- When I was only 8 or 9, I had weight-image issues. EIGHT OR NINE. How?! I Don't know but I blame barbie and collages from magazines. I used to think I was fat- at eight... Come on- that's unreal. Nothing too insane, though! I would just call myself fat.

- I worked out with my mom a lot- developing a love for running :)

- In middle school, I thought a lot of boys didn't like me because I was taller and bigger than other girls who were popular. (I now tell myself it's because I was independent and creative)

- In high school, I was picked on every now and again for not having brand name clothing, specifically jeans. I actually at one point took my k-mart jeans and embroidered Abercrombie logos on my back pockets to stop the fear of not fitting in. True story! AND it fooled people. I know my way around a needle and thread (woop woop!) SIDENOTE: Even if it was up to me, spending $85-100 on ONE pair of jeans when you're still growing is absolutely ridiculous. - The first few weeks into college, I was going back and forth on if I should switch my degree to photography or keep it in radiology. I had this conversation with many people, including my friend, James, and ultimately decided I wouldn't have time for a hobby I loved so much while being a radiologist and dwelled on the fact I would be missing out on the best days of my life. So I switched!

- My high school sweetheart + best friend, Cory, had committed suicide when we were only 20 and it turned my entire world upside-down. The growth I was having in photography took a turn, and my images got really dark there for a while.

- Being around positive, influential people- like my professors, my mom, and the people at swing dance helped pull me through. It was hard for me to talk to people about his death, so I kept a lot of it to myself. It's not that I didn't have someone to talk to, I just didn't know how to express it.

So those are the things that impacted my life the most and things that held at the forefront of my mind.

Things I discovered today while soul searching:

- I want to be the person who others look up to as someone who - despite all the S H I T, made it through

- I am going to change this fashion industry to focus not on being the prettiest, skinniest, most mysterious, etc etc etc-- but rather to an industry that takes pride in the brave, kind, genuine, HAPPY person that everyone should look up to.

- I don't want another generation go through the same self-doubt I did in middle and high school.

- It's time to celebrate being happy and spreading that joy like sprinkles everywhere.

- It's time to focus on helping others with mental health awareness, and even if it's just brightening and coloring the world through photography, at least it's a start.

- I want to start volunteering and making contributions to suicide prevention

Marie Forleo ( B-school) asked as one of her questions, " What future vision of the world will you and your business help bring to life?"

I am going to become an incredible commercial photographer, and I will shape the media. Like the movie, 13 Going On 30 - We should be looking up to our best friend's bigger sister, not some pretty model we don't know. We should inspire to be someone because of who they are on the inside, not out.

I want to start creating imagery to not only tell someone's brand, but to connect their brand to the community. I want that imagery to be light, bright, happy, and real. I want to tell victory stories of small businesses and what their neighbors are doing for the world.

I want this imagery to help people who might not feel that same joy by donating my time and my money to others who can help them overcome hurdles. It might not be much, but it's something. And maybe they'll look at the art created and think- I'll get there, I want to be that person whose comfortable in their own skin and proud of their accomplishments.

I'm driven to ensure my nieces and nephews, and eventually future (way future) children don't feel this unspoken weight of not being _____ enough.

If you feel that-- if that's something you're on board with- then I want to hear about it. It's time to change this world and make it more joyful for everyone, no matter of their gender, race, age, sexual orientation, weight, height ETC.

There has never been, nor never will be another one of you with the same creativity and thoughts. Let's do something with it. Because who you want to be in the world is bigger than any dollar amount in your bank. If you don't have a fire- that fuel on why you do what you do and why you stand behind it, you're just wasting time. Those are just some thoughts <3 <3 <3 I hope everyone has a terrific Wednesday :)

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