Oh sweet lady,
My how far you have come in the past three years. From that very first moment you picked up your first DSLR you have been on the go. Wanting nothing small for yourself, you decided to ignore all of those little nervous voices in your head that were placing doubt and plunged into business confidently. To this day, it was one of the best decisions that you’ve made for your photography. And to this day, that moment of
trusting and believing in yourself is one of the bravest things you have ever done.
You will always remember that very first outing with your very first camera. The Cherry Blossom festival in DC. You had your new fancy camera bag, a barely worn in camera strap, and your fingers were fumbling like crazy over all of those tiny buttons. You were so worried about exposure and lighting, the rule of thirds and limb chops. You were so focused on not breaking any of the photography composition rules, because goodness knows you weren’t a rule breaker.
Since that day you have gotten wiser about a few things. That lady who never broke any photography rules now craves breaking them and your most eye catching photographs are the ones where you threw the rules out the window and did what you wanted. And while you are still learning not to worry too much about how others view your work, you are shooting for yourself and being authentic to who you truly are as an artist.
Being unique and authentic is kind of your thing, these days. Instead of taking photographs that simply capture people, you are creating art that expresses honest moments and genuine emotion. Where you once stressed over having others look at the camera, you now beg your clients to pretend you aren’t even present, to ignore you. You haven’t let go of your need for perfection, but you have redefined what perfection looks like. Perfect is no longer everyone looking at the camera all at the same time.
Perfect is having a little one stick their tongue out just as you click the shutter, capturing not only their young and silly personality but the emotion and reaction it elicited from their surrounding family. Perfect is no longer that perfect baby sleeping quietly in the crib, but instead the honest cry that documents what true newborns do in their first days.
I guess you could say you are not a photographer. Nope, you aren’t. You are a storyteller. You use your camera to tell, and sometimes to create, a story. You thrive in situations where you can be a fly on the wall, documenting families and situations as they unfold. Portraying everyday life in a beautiful way is one of your greatest passions and has taught you so many life lessons along the way.
You’ve learned that there is so much beauty in the everyday. In the endless baskets of laundry, the messy kitchen, and those trips to the market. Beauty is everywhere, whether it is portrayed through the composition or the light. And simply being patient and giving the situation a chance to prove it’s beauty to you has taken your photography places you never would have gone before. And, through your photography, you have been blessed with some great relationships.
Your passion to encourage other photographers instead of compete against them has taken you much farther in your journey with photography. Your willingness to teach and educate others to take a leap with their photography has encouraged you to meet so many wonderful artists who have, in turn, inspired you and your skill.
If there is one thing that I want to see you continue to do, it’s demonstrate kindness and encouragement towards others. Continue to show others that we are all photographers together, going on similar journeys and living the same passion. Help others on their journey with photography, just as you’ve been helped along the way.
Just seeing all that you have done in three years, I cannot wait to see where you go next. While your list of things to learn is always growing and, from time to time, you need a little motivation to pick up your camera, your thirst to learn and to, in turn, teach others will be what takes you far with your photography.
And while I love the moments that you capture with your camera, be sure to set it down every once in awhile and don’t forget to live in the moment. While pictures of your family will always be your most cherished artifact, your memories are just as important. I am proud of you. You are brave. You are kind. You are encouraging to others and genuinely want them to succeed. You are curious to know and do more, everyday. You are the type of lady you want your daughter to be and, for that, I am proud of you.
About the photographer:
Bethany Deschamp of Bethadilly Photography is a lifestyle family and newborn photographer in Washington DC. She is a mama to one and a wife to her high schoolsweetheart. Known to have one of the most recognizable photography styles on Instagram, Bethany loves educating other photographers and encouraging them to improve their photography skill through her photo a day project, The Bethadilly Challenge. Her favorite thing about photography is that it has taught her to see the beauty in ordinary everyday situations, a lesson she will always be grateful for.