A couple of months back an email went out to all of the Clickin Mom Pros letting us know that we could begin applying for instructor positions for Clickaway 2016 in Seattle, Washington. It was an email that I honestly didn’t think too much about. I mean…it was obviously meant for those famous-crazy-talented-big-name-photographers, not me who is just kinda doing her thing here in Dallas. I chatted with a friend about it and got my hopes up a bit about applying, but then decided against it. After all, “I’m just me. What could I offer to a huge photography conference with some of the leading talent in our industry?” Weeks later I met up with a friend who IS one of those famous-crazy-talented-big-name-photographers (her name is Sally Kate, by the way). She casually asked if I had applied to teach. “Uhhh, no. No, no, no,” I replied.
“Well, why not? You should,” she answered.
She didn’t press me much farther and just said to do it, and do it quickly as they were deciding on instructors soon. What Sally didn’t know is that those words are kinda my mantra with photography and the foundation of my business.
Let me back up a bit.
When I first left my teaching position to stay home with our newborn son I was scared. Of a lot of things – being a new mother, leaving co-worker friends, a new financial picture, etc. Mostly I was scared of losing ME. I didn’t JUST want to be a mother and wife (although they have always been my #1 priorities). I wanted an identity outside of keeping floors clean and diapers changed. Enter photography and the rest was history. I fell back in love with the art and never looked back. Not to say that starting a business was easy. Far, far, FAR from it.
I distinctly remember crying to my husband the day I started my business Facebook page. “What will people say? What if I’m made fun of for doing this? What if I’m not good AT ALL and now I’ve put myself OUT THERE.” Pretty much my husband gave me the awkward man “there, there” pat and simply said – “You should do it. You can do it.” It was right then I realized that I was scared. Scared to death and it felt good. I had been craving a challenge and a way to grow myself personally. After all, no one was giving me a promotion for serving up a healthy dinner that the whole family would actually eat.
So being scared has been a business motto of mine. If a photography opportunity presented itself to me, I took it – even if I was petrified. And so far it has panned out well for me. I was scared to death about applying for Clickin Moms Pro. But I was accepted and it has thrown open HUGE doors for my business. I almost threw up the first time I taught an intro to DSLR camera class in front of 100 people. I HAD A MICROPHONE AND A PODIUM. Oh, and when I started teaching photographer workshops and offering mentoring to other photographers? Freaking TERRIFYING.
But every time I have had an opportunity I have told myself, “why not? I should.” I don’t expect that things will always work out the way I want or am hoping for, but I do believe things will work out the way I need them to. So I have embraced this fear. And YOU SHOULD TOO. What are you afraid of? What is the WORST that could happen? Whether it is following your own passion, pursuing your goals, or even wondering if you should go to Clickaway…. begin by thinking what is the BEST thing that could happen?
As the very wise Elizabeth Gilbert says –
I decide every day that I love Creativity enough to accept that Fear will always come along with it. And I talk to Fear all the time, speaking to it with respect, saying to it: “I understand that you are Fear, and that your job is to be afraid. And you do your job really well! I will never ask you to go away or to be silent, because you have a right to speak your own voice, and I know that you will never go away or be silent, anyhow. But I need you to understand that I will always choose’s Creativity’s ideas over yours. You may join us on this journey — and I know that you will — but you do not get to choose the direction in which we will walk, and you will not stop me and Creativity from making plans and decisions together.”
And then…onward we march: Me walking right beside Creativity and Fear, who are enmeshed forever, limping along, definitely a little weird-looking, but forever advancing despite each other.
Well, back to the present. I did apply to teach at Clickaway. And, as you have guessed, I was accepted. I cannot even explain how excited, nervous, honored, overwhelmed, and SCARED I am. But most of all I am proud. I am proud of myself for moving past fear and doubt and being included with an incredible group of leaders, learners, and lecturers.
Clickaway 2016, I am coming for you!
And if you want to join me, I would LOVE for you to use my link to sign up! Even better, come sign up for one of my classes. I’d love to chat with you!
Here are some images I took at Clickaway 2015 in San Antonio. Although I am not a “styled” children’s photographer, I had an absolute blast trying on a new photography hat with the best of the best in the styled children’s world….. Shalonda Chaddock of Chubby Cheek Photograph and Sally Molhoek of Sally Kate Photography. Shooting alongside of them – amazing!