If you're a creative and you stay networked even a little bit within the industry, you've likely heard the phrase "community over competition". I didn't make this up, truthfully, I'm not sure who did, but it's genius and it's my heart, specifically when it comes to my business, but also for life in general, in a total of three words. When put together and really thought about, three powerful words.
Now, let me be raw and open for like 5 whole seconds. Do I have a natural, competitive tendency or two? Yes. I'm human. But in a little over two years I've learned a wealth of knowledge from other people following a very similar path as me, and I would be a lost, hot mess without their paved way. Most weddings my clients request a second shooter, and well, you can't call just anyone. These are two simple examples to drive a pretty strong point home: we just can't do this without other like-minded people. We just can't.
Let's pretend I didn't use my full 5 seconds already, and continue being raw and honest for a hot minute. Have I had days where I've seen the success someone else is having and beat my own self down? More often than I care to admit. And if you asked me lately, you may get a full on sob story. My point is, I'm not perfect when it comes to community versus competition, but it's my main goal. It feels good to be someone else's source of encouragement.
I don't even remember the exact moment I met Caiti, but I do know that I happened to stumble across her Instagram kind of out of no where, and while we had never even formally met, we were mutually cheering each other on. Later finding out we share quite a few mutual friends, that plus our similarities, and we were both pumped to meet in "real life" and just share quality conversation over a good ole cup of Starbucks (aka the drink sent straight from Heaven... coffee). It was so refreshing, for me at least, because by sharing quality conversation I mean she stumbled into my life at one of those seasons of comparison and she got an earful. But she listened. She encouraged. She didn't make me feel alone. And she still wanted to be my friend.
A really great thing for my own business is to have dependable people I can refer potential clients to when I am already booked or otherwise unavailable, bringing dependable seconds with me to weddings that produce quality work, and just being known for being good, yes, but mostly for being a good person. You can't do that if you are a competitor first. Reach out and be a friend to someone today, really great things come from it and afterall, we weren't meant to do life alone. Not one, single part of it. Thanks for being such a great friend (in such a short amount of time) Caiti!
We were able to find a free night between both of our crazy schedules to swap headshot services, and I can't even explain how thankful I am. It's rare we get to hop on the other side of the camera! Here's a few more of my favorite from my time with Caiti!
Thanks for following along this little dream of mine. If you get a chance, check out Caiti with Caiti Garter Photography! She's KILLIN' IT.