New York City is a place where everyone is rock star (or was one in a former life!); I'm talking former All - American athletes, school presidents and advanced degree holders. These accolades are common place; everybody holds one of these titles, probably more. Consequently, NYC is a place of lavish excess, where one can get lost in the shuffle of the hustle and bustle. The saying "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" never felt more relevant until I started my business three years ago. What a wild ride it's been and there are a few things that always help center my thinking about success as a female entrepreneur. Since today is a day of "thanks", I'm gonna take the time to do just that.
1. Going back to where my roots are in California and spending time with people who have seen me evolve over the course of decades, means something. It reminds me that my profession and income don't solely define the woman I've become.
Circa 1984, at a wedding with my parents
2. My husband, who is a thought partner and my sole "silent investor" (as he was self annointed!). I simply don't tell him enough how much I appreciate his efforts to support the development of my photo studio. When we agreed that I would scale back on my "other" work to do photography, we had no idea what that would mean. Now he does, and it's not sexy... late nights in my hoody and under - roos at the computer!
A photo of Jorge on our wedding day in 2010
3. Difficult/ challenging clients. There is something about these people I recognize almost instantaneously, but who I will predictably always learn something from. That "something," time and again, has helped revolutionize my process. Whether it be a new clause in my contracts, or a new directive to shout out during a shoot, these hiccups, though painful, almost always help advance my business positively. Notwithstanding absurdly late nights and unexpected tears. THANK YOU! Without my clients, my business would not exist!
Chester and Dani, this past Sunday who so graciously volunteered to be the couple featured in my video at a moment's notice. They were stunning and beautiful and I am so lucky to have clients who are also friends.
4. Mentors. My mentor is not just my teacher but also a friend. I can use expletives freely all the while garnering advice on how to become a better photographer. This is a lonely profession so it's great to have someone to laugh with over the silly mistakes! What I have realized over time, however, is that mentors come in all shapes and sizes; sometimes I even learn from the children I shoot and strangers watching me work. Being a better photographer means becoming a more conscious person.
Stephanie, my illustrious friend and mentor.