I feel a bit weird…like I’m walking around in a bit of a daze. I’m not entirely sure what I want or when I want it but I know something has shifted.
Last week I went to meet an awesome photographer by the name of Jonas Peterson. His work is incredible and his outlook on life in general was a complete eye opener. I will admit I had nerves the morning of his workshop in Dublin. I got the fear. Was I a good enough photographer to include myself in this group? Was everything going to make sense or would I be completely confused by technical speak? Was I being naive and foolish to leave my children for 2 nights during the week to fly to Ireland just to listen to a wedding photographer speak to me when I don’t even shoot weddings?… A slight panic set in, the butterflies kicked off and no matter how much I wiped my hands the sweat on my palms kept appearing.
What was I even doing there… Jonas is an multi award winning, internationally acclaimed photographer hotshot, I on the other hand am a Surrey mum of 4 running a small photography business from my children’s playroom – a playroom with great light but a playroom never the less!
So the first thing Jonas launches into once we have taken up our seats on the squidgy brown sofa in the corner of the studio – a talk on self worth! Erm!!
He went on to tell us his whole back story – it sounds kind of conceited when you announce that a fair chunk of a workshop you are taking is going to be taken up by talking about yourself and your life story but in this instance it was the whole point. The reason he does what he does is because of his life story. He explained how you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to putting boundaries in your own path and not really living in your own story. He emphasised the importance of connecting with clients and how telling their story through images was so powerful.
I’m sitting listening to him thinking, yes that’s all very well but due to family commitments shooting weddings has never really been an option for me. I have 4 children, I can’t go gallivanting around the country shooting weddings..can I?
I used to work in the industry and for a while ran my own wedding coordination company. I fell out of love with the whole thing after a while, I found it superficial and self indulgent. I lost the will to pander to a brides every whim, I forgot about their stories and their reasons for getting married and got caught up in the ridiculous need for matching napkins and table favours…But the way Jonas explained how he does what he does and the reasons behind his incredible journey to get to where he is I couldn’t help but start to wonder if I’m missing a trick.
I’m not saying I am anywhere close to shooting weddings now but the one point he did make that resonated with me was that there is no real reason why I can’t do it and perhaps I have put my own barriers in the way….Have I been so intent on being the narrator of my own story I’ve forgotten I’m the main character?
I see myself as a story teller, I’m fascinated by peoples lives and what makes them who they are…I just need to start removing barriers for myself with regards to my work and concentrate on the plot a bit more.
A few weeks back I met up with my younger sister in Wales..she’s recently engaged and the look on her face when she talks about the future is so wonderful and such a contrast to a few years back when she was going through a huge heartbreak. She was crushed after the breakdown of a long term relationship and couldn’t seem to see a way through to happiness. She grieved the future she thought at the time she would never have and tried numerous distractions, holidays and projects to take her mind away from how fragile she was feeling. I invited her to stay thinking I would be able to look after her, distract her a little bit from what she was going through, hug her tight and make her feel ok but I knew it wasn’t enough. Her hurt was deep, too deep for me to reach. When she left to go back to her empty flat my heart sank, I knew she had to go but I so desperately wanted to keep her with me, delay the inevitable pain she would feel walking through her front door to nobody, I wanted to take the pain away. But that wasn’t my job… My job was to hug her tight and make her feel loved.
Enter Richard. The one she needed to make everything ok. The One….Just when she was least expecting it. In 2 years she has had her shattered heart mended, she’s become a Mother and felt unconditional love and now, now she gets to be the bride, the ultimate main character in her own story! Now that, is a good tale and one so worth telling….