I went on a little road trip last month. I say little, not because of the length of the road trip (2800 miles), but because I had to do it fast. Why fast? Because I was traveling with a cat. If you’ve ever traveled with a cat, you know why getting there fast is really your only option. Because, cats…. So, no, I didn’t stop and take a whole bunch of photographs. I wanted to, but, cats…. I was moving my home base. Leaving Asheville to return to California where I am from and where my family is. There’s a granddaughter in the works now, and a mom who needs some care.
While traveling on the road, I had a little time to contemplate my own journey. I’ve been living in or near Asheville, NC for the last 8 years. I started my photography business there, and brought it from a tiny little part time hobby portrait and product shot business making almost nothing, to a successful full time business in which I can actually support myself doing what I love. These last seven years have been some of the hardest and most rewarding years I have ever experienced.
I learned how to believe in myself, and how to never give up on following my dreams. I learned that dreams aren’t easy to follow, but that is the only way to grow. I started dreaming about being a professional photographer when I was in my 20s. I didn’t actually do it until I was 50, so dreams can last a long time before you act.
Building a business is one of the hardest things a person can do. Especially in a competitive field like photography. It’s often thankless, sometimes you are the only person who actually believes you can do it. There are days, months even, where you might be wondering what the heck you are doing it all for. There are long dry periods where you might feel no connection to the reason you started doing it in the first place.
It’s a hard road you are traveling but just keep going. Keep learning. Have great mentors. Have a plan. Don’t quit. These are the things I tell myself daily, and I believe in. They have gotten me through some of the darkest periods of my life.
Now that I’m settled back in the San Francisco Bay Area, I do have a plan to grow and build. If you are an Asheville business hoping for me to help you grow and brand your business with excellent imagery and portraiture, fear not, I am still available! That’s why there are airplanes. I will be traveling at least once, if not twice a year to visit dear friends and work with my clients. In addition, I am continuing to build my national presence working with businesses and corporations where ever I am needed. It’s only my home base that’s moving. I want to see more of my family, and I have sorely missed them.
But back to the trip…I can’t be that hard on my cat, he did let me get out and snap a few pictures. But he’s quite happy now that we are done with that car stuff… I was super inspired in Fulton, MO because I came across the work of a photographer from the 1880s who lived there, B.F. Oliver. I bought a couple of his prints from the town museum. Wow, what a find! After I saw his work, I definitely had to get out there and shoot. And so early the next morning I found myself on a rainy bridge crossing the Missouri River with my camera in hand.