I had two courses in photography and had worked on a film crew before starting to photograph models. I had done landscape photography, developed in a dark room, and had spent hundreds of hours in photoshop as a professional graphic designer. Even with all of that, my first photo shoots sucked. Not only that, after a year of photography, I still did photo shoots that suck. I still operate at a deficit in photography. My shoots, overall, cost me more than they make for me.
In many ways, I'm a failure.
But how far have I come? Magazine publishing, awards, making thousands of dollars, working with agency models, working with fashion brands, learning frequency separation, learning dodge and burning, learning advanced color grading, learning off camera flash, making lots of friends, growing a social media following, learning marketing, building my skill set and confidence.
All of this without setting any specific goals. I didn't make a learning plan, I didn't set objectives.
A lot of this goes counter to entrepreneurial advice. I don't hustle 24/7. I'm not following vlogging trends. I don't like photography/model meet ups. I did over 250 free photo shoots. I messaged thousands of people looking for models. I've been stood up more times than I can count. I spent 10 hour days outside shooting the Texas summer without getting paid only to be stood up and canceled on and threatened by models. I've watched hundreds of hours of tutorials, workshops, and lessons.
This blog post, like my photography had to start somewhere. My knowledge about blog structure, opening lines, post titles, including offers, get link backs, etc. I'm not ready to implement all that yet. I'm not there. Just like, for the first 2 years I didn't daily post on IG and now this year I've been making a new post every day and the post fit my aesthetic. Early work, to some degree, will most likely have a cringe factor. It's tempting to want to be perfect out of the gate. To make a post that stays on topic. To make a post without sentence fragments. To make sure aesthetic fittings images are placed at appropriate intervals throughout the post.
When I took drawing, I was taught to not erase my lines so I could see where I had gone wrong before so the next line I drew would be able to benefit from the last. If I erase the first line I made, I'm likely to keep drawing that same line. Much like ideas. When we let ideas live in our heads, they ruminate and don't build. When we write them down, open them to criticism, and quit treading the same ground, we make progress.
If you want to know where I get a lot of these concepts...
Brene Brown - Daring Greatly
Kristin Neff - Self Compassion
"Document, don't create"