(wanna read part 1?)
Relevant? Maybe. Awesome? Yes.
You’re not ready until you’re ready. Then you’re ready.
I’ve thought as I continue this business passion photography adventure thing, why I didn’t start sooner? I’ve always known that being a professional photographer was #1 on my “If you could do anything at all” list. So why didn’t I do it? Why didn’t I throw myself into making it happen when I was in high school, spending tons of time in the darkroom, and annoying the crap out of my friends by shooting and shooting and making them my models for different crazy ideas. Sitting outside during thunderstorms for hours so I could get that lightning shot. The signs were all there. Basically the why not comes down to that old – you can’t make a living making art – idea. I just assumed that. I never really asked about it, I just assumed.
As Danielle put it in the Fire Starter Sessions “Who said it was supposed to be hard?”
No one in my family ever said, you can’t make money making art. Heck, I even started college as a visual communications design major, and then switched to theater! (lighting/costume/set design, not acting) Seriously! My mom was supportive, asked lots of questions, and never tried to talk me out of anything. I even took a photography class my first quarter at college! Honestly, what turned me off the most about continuing that path in college was the attitude of my instructor, the way that everyone’s most favorite and least favorite days in class were critique days. Oh, the carnage. How the photos I loved the most were trampled on, and the photos I took to finish off a roll, somehow ended up in the final class slide show. Seriously. Those people didn’t make any sense to me.
I think sometimes what we need is just information and permission. For me, I didn’t have the information I needed then. I didn’t know that you could really make a living with photography. In so many ways, it was similar to my revelation about social work. It’s not all case workers and CPS. Social workers are everywhere doing almost everything. Photography is the same way. If someone had said to me, Karyn, you don’t have to ‘do photography’ their way, or anyone else’s way. This is your permission to do it your way. Honestly, that probably would have changed the course of the last 10 years. But that didn’t happen.
I’m not sad, I’m very happy with how I’ve come to where I am. That led me to a place in my life where I have gained confidence in my abilities to relate to people, to communicate, to teach, to encourage and that my opinion matters and what other people think of the way I do things matters less. So I think this gift and love for photography has just been there, patiently waiting until I was ready.
It really does feel like I spent so much time overcoming what I thought I was supposed to be, fighting back to be who I already was. She’s back: smarter, faster, leaner…well, maybe not leaner 😉
I know I didn’t go into what the Fire Starter Sessions said much in this post, but this is what is coming out of my head after going through just the very beginning. The questions are provocative and insightful and make you think. It’s not about her, it’s about you. A lot of what she says in the first few modules makes me think of how we all have God given gifts, and we are supposed to use them – and what will you be like as a person if you are using your gifts. Like, what if your gift is that you are able to explain things to other people in a way that they can understand what you are talking about (or you are a SUPER promoter like Jackie Moon!). All the things you could do in your work life and personal life to use that gift, and how it won’t seem difficult to you because it comes natural – where it might be the hardest thing for someone else.
Another quote from the Fire Starter Sessions to make you think:
Your original self and all its great capacities are present from day one.
Jungian analyst James Hillman calls it “The Acorn Theory”. You arrive with the acorn of your full potential in your DNA. The gift of that potentiality may lie dormant until the right time—until your life conditions create an environment for you to sprout, until you‘re big enough to run the race or argue your point, or until the right teacher comes along to whip you into shape.
I’m excited to keep doing the Fire Starter Sessions and see what else I find and learn and then – gasp – apply.
If you are interested in learning more about the Sessions – you should totally go check them out. If you end up purchasing them, she has a great affiliate program. I’m doing it =) Just another way to spread the fire love. Keep checking back, who knows what I’ll discover next.