Don't you love when you're reminded how small the world really is? I remember almost a year ago when Paola first e-mailed me. She was starting out with her own photography business, wanted to express her love for my style, and was eager to learn where to start. She was asking questions about equipment, and after a few back and forth e-mails, I realized that we share a few special friends. Sometimes, when you least think people are watching, they are. At the time, I was still struggling to develop my style and to execute it through each session consistently. I was extra frustrated with myself because I could picture it, but I couldn't bring it to life 100% of the time. I was proud of my work, I was proud of the fact that I was self taught and that I had turned a girl with a passion and a camera into a tangible reality, but I was also full of self doubt and just kind of angry with myself. She just wanted to know what body + lens I'd recommend, but what she didn't know is how timely she was in asking.
I had no idea people cared what I had to say. I was so mad at myself for feeling like I had stalled in my style and growth, that Paola asking me a simple question like what camera body and lens I shoot with was a confidence booster I desperately needed. A subtle, and probably unintentional reminder that people are watching, people are looking at you for the push to follow their own dreams.
If I could give you one bit of advice, I'd tell you to take every opportunity to build someone else up. I never wanted anyone to give me all the answers, but I could have been a better artist sooner with someone to mentor me on simple things like equipment, and just getting started. It's scary - competition is a real fear and is a reality in part of being human, but I've been able to accomplish so much by being able to learn from some really awesome industry leaders, and they are still CRAZY successful, sharing their knowledge for a living. I truly hope I get more opportunities to push others to spread their own wings.
When I e-mailed her back, I answered her questions and that was that. When she reached out to ask me months later to book a headshot session, I was SO excited. Sometimes you just get caught up feeling like just little-old-you. You make your clients happy and that's really awesome, but when someone with their own eye for art wants to travel to you for you to play a pivotal role in their own business, you jump for joy at the opportunity. Paola, I wish you nothing but success and can't wait to see your new website!! I loved meeting and working with you, girl!