You know what's astonishing to me? I've been doing this full-time for almost two years. TWO. YEARS. I mean, I can remember when that was such a pipe dream for me. It seemed so far away. I worked other jobs, jobs supposed to be my "primary" while I waited for the right time to make my passion my full-time profession - but I secretly feared that day would never come.
That's just the way of the world, right? That's life. You do what you have to do to take care of your family and pay the bills and make it day to day. Through no fault of the individuals themselves, so many passions age on the vine until they're forgotten; overrun by very real responsibilities, and often new passions and goals.
I was lucky. I wouldn't dare deny it. In fact, I pray in thanks for it daily. I was given the opportunity and support to take a small talent and big interest in photography and...learn. And I got better. And then people started wondering how much I charged for my sessions, when I hadn't even thought of it yet. And then...I thought maybe I could do this for good. For "real," for lack of a better term.
And now I'm in the middle of it, and I can say unequivocally it has been both the biggest challenge and one of the biggest joys of my life. I think that's the way it's supposed to be, but all I can say is Thank God I didn't have to do it alone. My family, I don't even know what to say. All of them. I'm not sure I wouldn't have simply physically manifested into a panic attack without them.
Especially these two. This past year has been...a ride. A wife chasing her Master's who still manages to be supermom. A charismatic and intelligent and beautiful daughter navigating 1st grade. And they not only deal with me, they love me unconditionally. It absolutely blows me away sometimes. It makes me feel unworthy of it, but not in a bad way - a way that makes me want to try to earn it more.
Also, and I could not be more serious about this, I wouldn't have lasted more than a day without all of you. If you're reading this, I'm talking to you. If you've recommended me to a friend. If you've looked at my pictures. If you've hired me for a session. If you've even thought about hiring me for a session. You've helped me keep going. And there's absolutely no way I could ever properly show my gratitude for the trust you placed in me. To capture your senior photos, your family pictures. Your engagement. Your weddings. Your first birthdays. They all mean everything to me.
Thank you. Thank you so, so much.
Phew. Gotta be honest. I didn't think this post would be quite so sentimental, but now that I read it back, I'm okay with it. Why not? 'Tis the season.
As 2017 winds down, I hope you make the most of its final few days. I hope you all enjoy time with your families and friends - or, heck, even just a good book if that's your thing. Because I know I'm going to. And then I'm going to roll up my sleeves, and look forward.
Year Three awaits.