If anyone told me that after 7 years of pursuing my dream as a fashion designer, I was to quit my job and take up wedding photography, taking a creative risk and stepping into a love-fueled destiny, I would never have believed it. Not a word.
When I finally scraped enough courage together to take the leap, nothing could have prepared me for the continual metamorphosis I was going to need to go through. No one told me about the amount of mistakes, the learning curves, the late nights or those ever present relentless challenges. It was overwhelming. So often I just wished someone would lean over and say: “I’ve been here too, at the beginning.”
Looking to various artist for inspiration, I found the illusion of “having it all” often portrayed through social media, extremely challenging. To say to myself that they too started from scratch was extremely hard and not very comforting. I found it nerve wracking (and still do) to reach out to people that have mastered a talent, gift or skill because here I was, at the start, the bottom end of the photography knowledge spectrum.The Rookie. The self-taught photographer.
When I first started, some of my most embarrassing moments included: Trying to change a lens the wrong way round. Accidentally knocking over a couple of Champagne glasses during a family portrait session. Giving a toddler an umbrella to play with, only to be told that it is actually the diffuser for the off-camera flash. Awkward! Yeah, you can say that again.
Having a life with creative freedom has been an exhilarating ride so far, but it also comes at a price. One that at times will make you want to question it all. These experiences taught me to embrace who I am… flaws and all. I had to learn from my mistakes but not focus on them. Instead I tried to enjoy the journey I was on.
But last week something changed. Something amazing happened. It was a week filled with surprise & wonder. A testament of what could happen when you just keep doing what you love.
Not only did my Husband, Joe & I get to spend some family time but we also got to see Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band perform live in South Africa for the first time. (This was on my father-in-law’s bucket list for as long as anyone can remember) In what can only be described as a fortunate twist of events where preparation meets opportunity, our tickets were upgraded to four golden circle tickets. “The Boss” as he is affectionately known, wowed us and thousands of other fans at the Bellville Velodrome.
So often we neglect important relationships, but being my own boss meant that for the first time I had the luxury of spending quality time with loved ones when it really mattered. Both our parents live far away and we only get to see them two or three times a year, so being able to take some time off felt like the biggest accomplishment of my career.
Later that week I had the blessing of capturing the wedding of a beautiful couple that overcame great adversity and it was during the Groom’s poetic rhapsody that I witnessed the power of LOVE. Also, everybody cried.
2014 It seems is a year pregnant with possibility, one that will see the arrival of three little ones for 3 special girls in my life, two long awaited wedding celebrations + a blossoming romance or two, and as for me… my very first international wedding.
Here are five of my favourite quotes that guide me towards my true north:
1. There is always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
2. We create beauty with our attitudes, behaviour and actions.
3. Live everyday with intention
4. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement
5. Strive to be in love with your life, every minute of it – because passion changes EVERYTHING! I hope that you too will see your hopes and dreams come to life, and in the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald – “Live a life you’re proud of.” Big Hugs, Leanne