I'm Not a Photographer (Why I'm Rebranding)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

To be honest, there's a lot I could say. A lot of excuses I could make up. Probably say, I'm just too busy or the magic isn't there anymore. I could fight for my dreams, like may years before. Denying any other passions I had, because simply I was told the two didn't go together.
If you're reading this blog right now, you know me as one of two things, a) I'm a photographer b) you're new or you don't know much about me to begin with. In regards to this blog post however, you must know one thing, and one thing only; I am not (just) a photographer. In fact, if I'm allowed to be frank, (who am I kidding, it is MY blog afterall), I'm not a photographer period.
This will come to a shock to pretty much everyone who has seen me grow as an artist, and as a person because I wrapped up so much of my identity in photography. My whole life, I had a camera in my hand. It was so much of me, I used to sneak it into school and take photos of my friends at recess and lunch and between classes because it felt right to me to communicate using a camera as a tool.
But, alas, I am a big girl now. As much as I hate to admit it. When I started photography as more than a hobby, I was taking new clients on a weekly basis. Once school started for the year, I put school first, as you do, and cut back my photoshoots both paid and personally. Once school ended however, I was never motivated to do work, but I did it anyways because that's what I thought I was going to do. And this trend would continue for the next three-four years. And I hated it. Pardon my french but I was half assing my passion. Doing it enough to stay alive as an artist, but I was making cheap work just to make it so I could say "I'm a photographer". Like that was a status symbol that made me better than anyone else in the room.
And here's the truth, everyone is a photographer nowdays. Work is cheap, everyone has a DSLR. Everyone with a DSLR thinks they're the next Arbus or Jarvis. Guess what? You're not.
Over the past few months, I've posted articles like "To The New Photographer", that acted as all the things I wish I could say to the people I personally know just starting. Kinda as my middle finger, my pure act of jealousy because they're still in love with the thing I'm in love with. The only difference between us is I'm way past the honeymoon phase.
Last year, I stopped taking clients all together. I tried to separate myself from doing work for other people and doing it for myself. In theory, this should work. It's a great idea, but it didn't. I just stopped taking photos all together because I became too self conscious to make bad work. By defining myself to one thing, I trapped myself. And every school year I became very irritable, upset easily, stressed and less creative because I wasn't doing anything creative. I defined myself to one form of creativity. If I wasn't doing photography, I didn't wanna do anything. For the first time in four years, this year I didn't fall into that trap. But I wasn't taking photos for anyone but me. In fact most of my work this year, no one has seen. I'm not afraid to share it, it's not bad work. It's actually startlingly better than anything I've ever done.
I still believe I'm meant to be a photographer. But, I need to fall back in love with it or that isn't going to happen. So from now on, my photography career as short lived as it was, is on hold. Maybe permanently, maybe for a month or a year. But it's done for the time being.

So what the H E double hockey sticks am I going to do now?

The answer's simple. Focus on what I actually want to do for living.
Focus on this blog.
Put content out that actually resonates with me.

Here's the truth in simple terms. I love photography. Still do, always will. I will never stop seeing, the way light effects my brain is magical. I always get consumed in my photography. Maybe one day, I'll be a photographer again. Maybe I'll feel like taking clients and maybe I'll continue to aim for commercial portraiture, just like I did four years ago. But today is not that day.
Today is the day I admit I am more than an artist. I love business the same as I love photography. I get consumed by budget reports, I love making presentations, and creating ideas and thriving off the energy in a room. I love forward thinking and planning and then scrapping plans and starting over.
In my blood I may be a photographer, a part of me still believes that's what my soul was made to do. But I'm also a natural at business. And for the first time ever, in this age, the two can co-exist.

As a formal apology to my past self:
You probably won't do the following things...ever. (But you'll do MUCH better things that are for you, and not other people).

  • Photograph Vogue by 25? Probably not, but earth to past me, I wanted to be a COMMERCIAL PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER, not a fashion photographer.
  • Be in a art gallery for my very own show. Why did I ever want this? Simply to say I did it as a bragging point. No part of this was for myself. That's where I failed as an artist.
  • Have my own coffee table book. Would be cool but once again, that isn't for me. It's simply for bragging points.
I'm going to rebrand myself as more than a photographer. I'm more than that one thing, and for the time being, I'm not even that. I'm..
  • An aspiring marketer. If you continue to follow this blog, you'll see more of that.
  • A MASSIVE beauty junkie. I originally started this blog strictly to focus on fashion and beauty. You may see more of this, maybe not often enough to be a beauty blog. But you'll see it more frequently across all my social medias.
  • DIY-ER. I redo everything, I love old furniture and revamping them or working them into an existing space. Don't be surprised if you see more of these kinds of posts, because I really do love when I have a chance to go thriving and making things have new life. It's one of my favorite things in the world and I really do wish I had more time and funds to devote to just that.
  • Advice Giver. This has been the most prevalent on my blog from day one. I love inspiring people and I love being there for any advice I can give. I'll continue doing this.
  • I'm sensitive. Recently, I've posted very transparent and honest posts on this blog. These articles always have the best feedback, because we all relate to them. And I love making them. I'll continue to be real and honest. It's not an audience for everyone, but it's the one I choose to write for.
  • I'm an artist. Even if I choose not to call myself a photographer. I'm still an artist. I create everyday, I love creating. Like I said, this will never go away in me. And I still want it to be prevalent in my blogs.
Here's what I wish someone told me four years ago. You are never too smart to be a business person and a photographer. Maybe, I'd still be shooting for my dreams of being a photographer if I heard that. But, regardless, I'd grow as a person, still. I will never be the same person I was almost half a decade ago. 
So what if I'm not a photographer anymore, I'm a lot more. And I hope to take you all on this journey to figure out what I am.

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  1. this is so good! Good luck with your new focus :)
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  2. I wish you all the best with your decision! Do what you think is the best for you :) x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  3. Good luck <3 always focus and things you really want and love in your life!
    Nati xx

    1. Thanks Nati! I hope it pays off in the long run.

  4. I wish you luck!
    Also, if you can check out my blog at clairysw@blogspot.com . it will make my day! thanks!

  5. I'm still struggling to find my passion in life as well! I wish you the best and much success in the upcoming year!