I looked back on old work today. Stumbled upon it, more specifically.
As an artist and creative, I can't tell you enough how important it is to do this.
I was in a bit of a slump lately, and felt as though my recent work wasn't looking the way I wanted it to. Countless hours of re-edits, staying up until 4 a.m. every night adjusting tones and curves and tweaking photos to my liking and I still couldn't nail the look I had in mind.
Then I went digging through some files. I found some of my very first sessions on an old hard drive, and man, was I shook.
Progression. Major progression. Everything has changed. The way I shoot, the gear I own, the way I interact with clients, the editing I do.
I started pulling up some old RAW files and decided to re-edit a few. The difference between the two editing styles was astonishing. While some things remained the same, I realized I've tuned my eye so precisely over this last year and a bit. I've progressed so much as a photographer that I literally blew my own mind.
I thought my work in the beginning was great, and credit given where credit is due, I wasn't horrible. But looking back on it now, I was no where near the level I'm at now.
One thing, and one thing ONLY has gotten me to this point of gratitude.
Never. Giving. Up.
Since the day I decided to pursue a career in the photography world, I dedicated my entire life to mastering the craft. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, photography and my business is on my mind. I am constantly brainstorming new ways to improve, and accepting the fact that I'm not perfect, no where near it, and there's still so much more room for growth.
Endless hours of learning and studying. Finding photographers that inspire me and taking mental notes on what draws me to their work. Reflecting on my own work and the areas I can improve in.
All of this lead me to that moment of discovery within myself.
I also reflected on my earlier days and the first time I ever sat down and met with wedding clients. I remembered how nervous I was leading up to it, thinking I was biting off more than I could chew getting into the wedding world.
They booked on the spot.
That was a pivotal moment in my career which reassured me that, "Hey Katie, you can do this. Maybe this is where you're supposed to be."
And I trusted the journey. The journey has blessed me immensely and photography has healed me in so many ways. It has brought me unbelievable friendships, mentors, creatives and clients. It's taught me a lot about myself and I've evolved professionally, and personally along the ride.
The best part of it all is that the ride is just beginning. 2018 is a huge year for my business and the best is yet to come. I can't wait to see where else this journey takes me. I also can't help but foreshadow into the future and picture me a year from now reflecting back on my current work, thinking the same thing I am now.
And finally, to everyone who has reached out to me, specifically other creators/photographers, letting me know that I'm an inspiration to you and your work, you will never understand how much that means to me.
I want to inspire my fellow creatives as much as I can, and the fact that you have placed me high up on a pedestal as an inspirational artist, my gratitude cannot be put into words.
Never give up on your craft. Find what you love and run with it. If you aren't where you want to be, try even harder. Use the downfalls to push you to success and soon enough you'll be exactly where you need to be.
And to everyone who read to the end of this post, thank you. Thank you for supporting me and placing your trust in me as a photographer. I wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support from family, friends, and clients.
Trust the journey. Always.