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October 4, 2012

Why Am I Doing This?

You all know the story of me asking for a “real” camera for Christmas of my senior year in high school.  I didn’t really know what that meant other than knowing that my pictures might improve.  I didn’t even know that what I was referring to was called a SLR (Single Lens Reflex)! But I took that camera with me everywhere, including Europe several times and even South Africa.  I didn’t know much at all about photography other than how to load my film, to not expose it other than in a dark room, not to put unused rolls of film in my checked bags and that all you had to do to focus was to press the button half way down.  I knew nothing of light and how to use it and the idea of posing so that it looked natural wasn’t even a seed of a thought in my mind.  But I loved it.  I knew that I had the ability to capture moments in life. And I loved that feeling of joy when I picked up my 4×6 prints from the photo lab.

But what I’ve discovered is that, especially with anything artistic, discouragement is around many corners.  It’s hard.  And as I’ve struggled with depression for much of my life, it hasn’t always been easy to let the comments from skeptics roll off my back.  Not everyone is my cheerleader and not everyone likes or understand how or why I do things.  Something else that has made this photography venture difficult is that with the digital photography age, there are lots of photographers, especially in Greenville, SC.  But not just any photographers… GOOD photographers!  But luckily for me (and hopefully everyone out there!), we have a good group of people that we are able to call peers in this industry.  I’ve gotten so much encouragement and advice from them that I’ll forever be grateful for.  But, it doesn’t take away from how there are so many of us and only so many people who are needing or wanting pictures.

I’m also extremely bad at playing the comparison game.  We all do it… we look at what others are doing (whether it’s photography or aerospace engineering) and think that we aren’t as good as so-and-so.  They are getting so much more attention for their work than I am.  They get to do such amazing things and I’m stuck here…

And what about the fact that it’s now been four years that Photographs by Sabrina has been in existence and I still feel like I’m fighting to get it off the ground?  Especially when there are others out there who have been doing it in less time than that and their businesses are exploding??


I do this… I pick up my camera, I click the shutter, I email with clients, I meet with brides, I photograph houses, I document trips… I do this because I love it.  I love meeting with a bride and hearing her love story.  I love hanging out with a family and capturing life for them as it is in that moment.  I love serving and taking care of my clients. I love taking pictures of a house and hearing that it sold within a week. I love hearing someone say, years later, that they still love their photos. I love networking and meeting other photographers and getting ideas from each other.  I love that relationships are built because of this little black box.  I love hearing the sound of the shutter and knowing that I just froze time.  I love that what I do doesn’t feel like work…

And when I focus on those things, which are my reasons for doing this in the first place, everything else that might keep me from doing it fades away.

It doesn’t matter what others are doing or how they’re doing it.  It doesn’t matter that not everyone loves my work. It doesn’t matter that this process has been slower than I’d wanted… what matters is that I still love what I’m doing and if I’m trying to get better at it.  What matters is that my clients feel important and taken care of.  What matters is that there are relationships being built – whether with clients or other photographers.  What matters is that I’m pursing my dream in spite of whether when I hit a bump or two… or twenty.

What matters is that I’m not giving up.  And neither should you… no matter what you’re dreaming of.

  1. Lindsey Dixon says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love your heart.
    PS I will be a cheerleader, I do love your work! Rah Rah Rah.

  2. Lamar Lambert says:

    Atlantadad sez stop it! You know you are good. You have the eye of an artist. There many talented people out there, but the difference is persistence. Endure the frustrations and thrive!

  3. […] heart, mind, soul and talent into, it’s somehow more personal.  I talked a lot about this in this post, so I won’t go into detail here, but let’s just say that discouragement came easily and […]

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