I’ve just entered a mentoring program with a talented photographer & businesswoman and as one of my first assignments I’ve been challenged to answer a very important question, “Why do you do what you do?” While writing my answer I decided that it was something that I wanted to share to help others think about why they do what they do and perhaps to help them decide that there is something bigger, more important that they should be doing.
I had been planning to do it for months, but I was nervous. I didn’t want to make what could potentially be a huge mistake, but I knew it was the right thing for me. I’ve always been the kind of person that just closes my eyes and jumps. I’m a risk-taker, but this was a pretty big risk, even for me.
I’ve been in business for three years now and for the first two years, while running this business almost full-time, I also worked part-time as an attorney. But as my photography business grew and I became pregnant with my second baby, I knew that I couldn’t do both any longer. So, at the start of 2012, I made the decision not to take any new legal clients and officially told my firm that I was leaving. I am now a full-time Photographer, an attorney no more.
As I was coming to this decision, I received an email from a client that made me more sure than ever that I was doing the right thing. I shot her family for a holiday session in November and just a few days into the new year her husband passed away, leaving her and their two little boys. She emailed me to ask me to make prints for the funeral and told me how thankful she was that they had these photos taken, the last photos of them all together as a happy family.
Although what I did as an attorney was valuable work, it could never be as valuable as the images that I was able to create for that family. This is why I do what I do. It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting families, maternity, boudoir, or weddings. I capture moments in the lives of my clients for them to cherish forever. Because they will never have this moment back again — when their children were so small; when they were young and gorgeous; when their belly grew so big with their first, or second, or third baby; when they were so in love they couldn’t imagine spending a moment apart.
Life truly is too short. And I will not spend another day of it doing something that I don’t love! I am choosing to spend it saving my client’s and my own family’s memories, so that we will never forget how happy, how beautiful, and how in love we were and are.
And that is why I do what I do. Even if it never makes me rich, it will always make me happy.