Becoming a photographer is a scary and difficult thing. Really. If you really have it in your heart to want to do it, you won’t find people beating down the door to help you, hold your hand, or walk you through the steps to become successful.
There are two main reasons for this; one good and one not so good.
So don’t think for a minute that anyone has ever tried to hold my hand, check in to make sure I’m ok with where I am professionally, or offer me loads of assistance. It’s not because people are mean but because it’s unrealistic. Once I gained that perspective, I became a little more relaxed about my journey.
The other reason you don’t find what you wish and dream for in a photo pal is because, unfortunately, there ARE people out there with poor attitudes. They don’t remember or care what it was like to start out. They are not only unwilling to be helpful but may go out of their way to discourage you. Not only that… but this business, for whatever reason, can be cut throat. I am not going as far to say let’s all be superduper BFF’s and dance in a circle around a rainbow but there can be real support out there.
The STL ShotParty is a dream turned reality Kelly Manno. It’s a collaboration of talented photographers sharing and teaching.
If you follow my blog, you see my admiration for Kelly on a regular basis. She’s a rock star. She pulled off her dream of the workshop in just a few short months.
At the workshop Kelly managed to have many photography resources available. I learned about some great new products to offer my wedding clients. I can’t wait for you to see the albums and other printed products I plan to offer in the future.
Along with vendors, there were also door prizes and I won something AWESOME!
It’s called a Glee Bag and you don’t have to be a pro-photographer to appreciate it. This cute camera bag can hold your camera and a lens or two. It’s the perfect bag to take if you know you’re headed out with the kids and would be sick not to bring your camera. AND thejoybag.com is offering a special of 10% off your ENTIRE order to anyone who uses the code DONNA (all caps).
But not only that, Kelly managed to get one of the hottest photographers around to be featured for the day… Jasmine Star.
Now, I know there isn’t a single soul that would EVER admit this but when I spoke with Kelly a few months ago and she told me she managed to acquire Jasmine Star, I was like ‘Who’s That?’ That’s how much of a nobody photographer I am! Hee Hee! So here’s the low-down on Jasmine. She’s not only a sought after, superb international wedding photographer but also someone that is an encouragement to other photographers.
She motivates by sharing her stirring story of her photography journey. Her story begins as a successful (but miserable) student with a full ride to UCLA Law School to the transition of a woman who chooses to pursue her passion of photography and is now considered one of the “Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World”.
…AND she’s a lucky gal because her husband is by her side every step of the way. He attends all speaking engagements and her weddings…he’s a photographer too!
It was great to meet a ‘celebrity photographer’ but one of the most valuable parts of the day was connecting with new photographer friends. I look forward to cultivating these friendships and working with other expert photographers!
Ashley and Alicia from LeLe Photography are two very talented sisters that are more to me than just photo friends. We share some similar experiences that I feel will keep us bonded for life. Also, years ago, I happened to be one of their first professional maternity photo sessions. They do a pretty good job shooting pregnant women, don’t you think?
I LOVED having the chance to ask all the burning questions I normally would have wondered as I carefully examined their images online. These are photographers whose work I’ve studied, looked at, and wondered “How’d she get that shot?” but never dared contacting. I thought, I can’t just be one of those emails that’s bothering them like everyone else! But at the shot party we’re all face to face…and it’s just not so intimidating.
After that, we got a chance to actually shoot with one of these three phenoms. My shoot group leader was Clary. She was incredibly fun and I learned a totally new shooting style with her.
Here are some of my favorite shots I took that day:
For Jasmine Star, she got to her level of success by being true herself and being open about it. She motivated us to show others who we are and where we are coming from. Becoming a photographer found her like it finds many of us… when another photographer creates an extraordinary experience for their client …for her it was her wedding day.
…For me it was when my son Roman was born.
Photo by Kelly Manno
I know for others it could be a great family session that becomes a lifetime memory. Having had that phenomenal experience made me want to do it for others. What an incredible gift photography can be for someone. Not only the end result of the amazing photographs, but the experience that happens during the process of capturing those memories. This is where I put my focus when I am photographing.
So, to close this post in the same fashion I began, becoming and being a photographer is hard work. But just like a photo can make you feel a certain way, being a photographer and creating those images make me feel that way. Photography is emotional, artistic, a little daring and fun, scary, painful, rewarding… all at once. Behind the lens or standing right in front of it, I want that for all involved.
I loved reflecting on that after this splendid day at the workshop.
I loved the new level of awareness that the workshop brought me to.
I loved, loved, loved, making new friends.
And I love you guys…. all my faithful readers for investing your time in learning a little more about what drives me. I hope that this post inspires you toward your passion like I’ve been inspired.
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