Dear Photographer featuring Velvet Lotus Photography


My first paid gig
My first paid gig! (December 2010)

Dear Photographer,

You’ve come a long way, love. That familiar adage that says that we all start somewhere carries so much more weight when looking back on images that you used to be so proud of, doesn’t it? For some reason, you had so much more confidence then than you do now. If I could go back and tell you not to follow every photographer that comes across your feed because it would haunt you at midnight as you’re scrolling through all the beautiful images wondering when you’ll ever be that good, I would. I would quietly remind you that vision is greater than eyesight. And encourage you to keep shooting what *you* love; not what other people love.

You’ve grown. Personally and professionally, you are so much more than you were when this journey started. You have 3 of the most amazing children you’ve ever known in your life with your best friend, you get to work with that same best friend, and together you’ve created a business that you both adore. Just 4 years ago you were starting to build a client base and get the word out about your passion. Today, you’re burning the candle at both ends to fit everyone in. And you truly love it. But I can see that you’re tired. October has just come to an end, and in hindsight you realize that you saw other people more than you saw your own children in the last 31 days. The silver lining in it all is that you did get to work with amazing people, and you actually had a beautiful fall this year to find solace in as you drove from place to place. But you need rest, love. You need your family. You need a hug. I’m sure other photographers need hugs too. So here it is: October is over ((hug))!

As you go into this winter season, I want to remind you that you are important. You are valuable. You give pieces of yourself to everyone, and then have nothing for yourself at the end of the day/month/year. Go out and do something for you in November. Go shoot something completely out of your norm, print it, and put it somewhere you will see it every day to remind you that you are important. Enjoy winter sunsets. I swear we didn’t see a single sunset two years ago. And then last year, every single night was insanely beautiful. Don’t compare work or success. Whether it be yours or someone else’s, celebrate it! It’s okay to pat yourself on the back from time to time. And if you find yourself in a creative slump, don’t give up. You tend to do that, and that’s not fair to you.

You’re starting to get your goals together for the coming new year. I’d like to add a few to your list.

  1. Put your family ahead of sessions. Clients will be there and will understand that you and your family need each other.
  2. Shoot *something* personal everyday.
  3. Print more.
  4. Love yourself completely.
  5. Send more handwritten thank you’s.
  6. Tell your colleagues more often how much you appreciate their talent and friendships.

I think these are totally manageable. Some may take more time and effort than others, but they’re all worth it. I know that at times it may seem easier to quit, but stay strong. You’ve come so far, and the road is far smoother now than it ever was before. So keep on, love.

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About the photographer:

Hey, I’m Stephanie! I’m a natural light photographer living and loving in Lafayette, IN. I’m a classically trained soprano, but have always had a passion for photography and art. My hubby and I run a lovely little studio and truly enjoy working together. We have 3 amazing littles who are our sun, moon, and stars. Family has always been everything to me. I draw inspiration from natural environments, simple settings, and pretty light. When I’m not shooting or editing, you can typically find me snuggled up on the couch with the kiddos watching Singing In The Rain, enjoying sushi, or cutting loose with some old school Mariah.

Website. Facebook. Instagram.

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