Why I'm Quitting My Photography Business
I've written and rewritten this like 5 times; I'm not always eloquent when talking about something I really care about, so I'm just going to throw it out there: I'm shutting down my photography business. This might come as a shock to some of you, but if you know me, this wasn't totally a secret. And by "wasn't totally a secret", I mean I was telling anybody "I can't wait to be DONE with this crap!!!" Dramatic? Yeah. A little extreme? Definitely. Really, it's bittersweet but it's been a long time coming.
To be clear, these past 5 years have been such a blessing for me. Being able to work for myself and do what I was so passionate about is an opportunity that teenagers don't usually get, for that I am so thankful. And really, I was so excited to become a professional photographer, so it's a little sad that I'm saying goodbye to my business after a much shorter run than I'd planned.
The truth is I didn't anticipate becoming such a different person from 15 years old to 20 years old. When I was 15, I had such different goals, and they were all lifestyle goals. I wanted to work for myself, I wanted to be running my own business, I wanted to get married young, I wanted to be free to raise my own children, pursue my arts, etc. These aren't bad goals, surely, but summer after summer passed and I got an overwhelming sense of this is not what you're supposed to be doing. Which was odd, because of course this is what I'm supposed to be doing. This is what I am doing! I'm successful! Just a little bit more focus and I'd be able to sustain myself on photography!
But when something doesn't feel right in my heart, it starts to suck the life out of me. And the more sessions I did, the more uneasy I felt. I was over-analyzing to a fault, because on one hand I didn't want to give up my only surefire career option, but on the other hand far be it from me to waste time doing something I'm not supposed to be doing. Photography has been a way to appease a lot of people who tried talking me into college. "No," I'd say (through gritted teeth and slightly crazy eyes), "I'm a photographer!" If I quit my business, I didn't want those college questions to come back. Nevertheless, I was going a little wild, spiraling into more and more editing and feeling so lonely and longingly looking at my other passions that I no longer had time for.
So finally, I came to a place of peace with my business. I took a step back. Photography has been such an incredible experience, and the skills I've learned in business will definitely transfer to everything I pursue going forward. As my dad says, there is no wasted effort! I'm not burning my camera, changing my name and moving continents or anything, photos are still going to be a part of my life, and hopefully being able to do a bit more exploration with photography will rekindle the little candle of inspiration that has been smothered under editing and e-mails. My photos will populate this blog and my instagram, I'll still be delegated as photographer on family vacations, but I'm not going to be taking sessions anymore. If I'm going to do what I'm supposed to be doing in this next season, I have to let go of what I'm not supposed to be doing.
So what am I doing? Well I got a day job--which is something past Greta swore never to do! Fortunately, I rebel against past Greta often--so that I can support the real gig: music. I've been writing a lot of songs this summer and slowly getting better and better pieces to work with, so as I finish up the 52 Weeks Project I'm looking forward and brainstorming lots of other music projects; videos, little EP's, some gigs, and things like that! I think the greatest thing I've learned in this year of tracks has been getting over the fear of failure, and I can't believe it but I'm typing this with so much peace. I'm not afraid to pursue something so unstable. I have plans, God has plans, and wherever I end up I won't be there alone. God will be with me, my family will be with me, my ride-or-dies will be with me, and I hope you'll be with me, too.
Thank you all for so much love and support as a photographer. I hope you'll all continue to support me as a singer!