Thursday, March 14, 2013

Get real! Finding my inner voice and giving Sam I am a personality.

If I'm honest for the past 10 years that I've been photographing, I have never been fully satisfied with the “image” I've created for myself. It's incredibly difficult to convey my own personality through my photographs, yes I have a style but, what does that say about me?  Like me, my style has evolved, grown, aged?
In photography there’s something known as finding your "style". It’s about how you come across to your prospective clients and on-line audience.  How your style reflects your personality.  You know, traditional, fun, candid, witty, cool, calm, patient, focused, humble, demure, etc. It’s about showing depth of personality and that little bit of magic that we become so attracted to.  
I believe that once you have defined your "style" and if it is a true reflection of your personality then you tend to find the right people.  People that I naturally click with!  That's also why I believe Sam I am (that's me) not only needs a style but also needs a voice! 
There's also this thing called "niche",  where you're "supposed" to pick just ONE aspect of photography and stick to it!  Let's face it, nearly every second stay at home mum has a camera, and is trying to make a business out of it,  every second photographer takes beautiful images of subjects in the same market as me.  I'm not worrying about that any more.  I'm Sam, I do what I do, you'll either LOVE it or you wont. Simple
In years past, I've fallen prey to the stigma surrounding photography that has about me pages starting with, I've been photographing since I was 6 months old (unlikely I know)  and to portray a "professional" image by means of "not being yourself".  There's part of me that feels I have not been able (confident enough) to fully express who I am, perhaps I've even created a persona that isn't completely me.  Has being "professional" taken all the fun away??  While remaining passionate about my craft and my business, have I lost a bit of why I picked up a camera in the first place??
Yes I have been in the industry for 13 years, I have been photographing professionally for 10 of those, Yes, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my coffee, Yes I am a Canon girl, and Look out, I am a scorpio in every sense of the word, I love Disneyland (and want to go back with my kids) I LOVE tropical North QLD, and lastly I HATE negative people (people who drag you down).  
With 2 children under my belt (literally), I feel I now have the courage to share who I am fully, I have learnt the skills to Love myself first and I am completely comfortable in my skin, I love the woman I am, the mother I am learning to be and with all of that I am loving the fact that I get to share all of this with my spunky husband (no I don't often tell him he's spunky, but he is).  
But here's a few more facts that make me "who I am" and things you probably didn't know about me, things I haven't shared before.  No longer do I want to come across with a diluted version of me, I want people to know who I really am, so I am able to make genuine connections and relationships with the "right" people, on a deeper level.  After all, the whole "business" of portrait photography is all about relationships and I've certainly formed many friendships along the way.
And those people who don’t “get me”? They can continue searching for their own right people elsewhere.

I'm NOT a writer...
I hate writing, I'm not a writer, and I don't really read....I LOVE pictures, not words (I'm a photographer after all).
I'm ageing...
I'm 33 years old THIS year, and although I have LOVED my life up till I LOVE it even more so.  I have 2 wonderful reasons  for waking up each morning.  My beautiful 2 year old daughter Alexis and my 8 week old handsome boy Leo.
I'm grateful...
I married my high school sweetheart in 2007, although we have only been married for 5 years, we celebrate 20 years together this year.  Through the years, I have made some wonderful friendships and retained friendships lasting more than 2 decades.  We don't catch-up as much as we would like!  I really do miss hanging out (pre-baby) with my gal-pals, I will have to fix that.
I'm a fighter...It's in my heart and it's in my blood.  My family are the strongest most loving people in my life.  I have my mum's caring and compassionate nature.  Mum was a fighter, she lost her fight in 2012 to breast cancer, little did she know that she changed each of us the day she left, she gave us each a little bit of her fight, and taught us that the show must go on.
I'm quiet...
I love peace and quiet.  I could just sit and collect my thoughts for hours, I also work better better when it's quiet.  My husband on the other hand loves music and works better when it's LOUD.  We’re different in a lot of ways like that. We’re also strangely similar in others.  I am also quite shy, (not completely introverted) but sometimes (I hope not often) I can come across rude, I won't always be the first to start up conversations.  A room full of people also (quietly) freaks me out!!
I'm a "sort of" city girl...
I've lived in Ipswich since the day I was born.  Though deep down I'd LOVE to be a country girl.  I just love everything about it!!  I never hesitate when a client of mine requests a portrait session at one of the private property's I have access to, It's like having my own little bit of paradise for a couple of hours
I'm NOT perfect...
Just ask my husband.  I screw things up, I forget things, I have failed at more things than most have tried AND some days I would much rather sleep all day and snuggle with my babies (oh wait, that WOULD be perfect)  I am simply perfectly, imperfect.  No genuine person is perfect.  You better believe it.
I LOVE drama...
My favourite movies are ones based on a true story, for instance The Blind Side and Romantic Dramas like The Notebook and Ghost and Dirty Dancing.  What can I say, I love a good old cry, don't hold it against me.
I have a HISTORY...
I failed school, but that didn't stop me having a wonderful career.  Some of the best working years of my life were pre-photography.  I spent 10 years in the pharmacy industry and made some really beautiful friendships in those years.
I have IDOLS...
I LOVE creative people, like other photographers, artists, musicians and actors. I wonder how on earth they come up with great images, artwork, songs and movies, and make it BIG.....Luckily I know lots of creative people . 
Well, not literally, but I do feel that after all these years, I am being taken seriously by my friends and family.  That they are actually starting to believe in me and that this isn't just "a hobby".  Maybe I have only just started taking myself seriously?  Food for thought.
Sam I am
if you feel that we may just CLICK, that's awesome, I'd love to hear from you.

P.S. If you made it this far you deserve a sneak at my limited Mothers Day Portrait Promo :)

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