REAL TALK: Comparison is the Thief of Joy

As I sit at my desk on this sunny afternoon, sipping warm coffee, editing and burning candles: I thought I really feel like writing. Expressing myself through these personal posts has made me reflect -I want to share more of who I am as an artist and human being.

As an Artist:

For a living, I tell stories of love in many forms. I tell these stories with my eyes, vision & heart, I then capture them in my lens. I tell so many stories through photographs and I capture the most beautiful people to whom these stories belong. I have said it many times, this is not a job or career to me – my business is my passion. I feel so humble to have this gift that I can document moments in life that will live on forever, telling peoples stories for many years to come.

Moments are so important to me, they deserve to be captured.

When a client states my images allowed them to relive the love they felt on their wedding day, is the best thing I can hear. It is my end goal as an artist. I want you to be able to relive & feel your story by simply looking at photographs.

This is who I am as a photographer. I capture every detail, event and story to the best of my ability. At the end of the day it is my clients story being told in the best and most beautiful way that matters.

As a Human being: 

I am 30 years old now, and honestly I feel amazing.

I have let go of so much negative energy and self doubt – I feel like I left that in my 20’s and it can stay there – see yah never!

I have been documenting peoples stories for the last 8 years now & I have enjoyed every moment!

 Pursuing a business has never been easy and I am sure it won’t ever be! Like all things in life – If we want something we have to work for it!

I simply can’t just take a great photo and expect someone to book me.

I can have all the passion and talent in the world for photography but how do I turn that passion into a business?

Well it has been a long road filled with steep hills and tons of detours – but hey here I am still going strong.

Have I always been a wonderful photographer? No.

Have I always had passion & strength? Yes.

Was it hard and did I get defeated? Yes.

Did I make mistakes? Yes.

Did I constantly step out of my comfort zone? Yes.

Did I struggle finding out who I was? Yes.

Did I always believe in myself? No.

Did I ever give up? Never.

I think that is why I feel the need to tell more of my story, successes and failures. I feel like it is not talked about enough. You see so many wonderful established photographers, I would now call myself one. We all start somewhere, we all grow, we all make mistakes, we all struggle. It is life.

I have compared myself to other people time & time again – Who doesn’t?

With this world of social media and everything at our fingertips, it is hard not to compare ourselves.  All I have learned about comparing myself is that it doesn’t let you fully be your true self, it brings self doubt into play. Everyone is different and if we were all the same, what a boring world this would be.

After 8 years as an artist, I have found out the only Artist I am going to be is me.

My work is consistently my own.

Many people ask me how I edit? I however really see my work in how I shoot : the use of my eyes, mind & light.

The rest I leave up to my editing but it has very little impact in how my photograph is taken – that is my art.

I have been asked many times if I can teach someone to take a photo, but truthfully there is no right way or right camera.

I look up to so many talented and wonderful photographers & artists for inspiration – there is nothing wrong with being inspired by someone and I love it when someone tells me they are inspired by me. I feel like there is so much competition in this line of work that I needed to see past comparison and look for inspiration. I am never going to be someone else, nor do I want to be!

I want my clients to hire me, for me! I also want to connect with my clients style and vision – I simply do not take bookings to make money. If I feel creatively I am not a good fit I will happily refer the client to someone who is. My clients invest in me & I invest in them.

I do not strive for thousands of Instagram followers or hundreds of likes and shares on Facebook. Truthfully if I didn’t need social media to make a living I wouldn’t have it! It is a wonderful tool and great for connecting but what truly matters to me is that I deliver my best work and tell the stories of those who trust in me.

I was recently asked how unfollowers and competition affected me? I honestly did not have an answer. I feel that if people want to follow my journey, that is so rewarding and exciting but if not, it honestly doesn’t bother me! I feel sad that in this society a click of a button on smartphone can affect someones well-being. People can be so quick to judge and compare and thats tough! I feel that if I just focus on my life, my work, my actions & support other people the best I can, then good things will come.

I guess my entire point in this blog post is to inspire us to just be ourselves, stop comparing ourselves to others and never doubt ourselves (EVER!) We are all human, we all have insecurities but rising above those and becoming the best versions of ourselves – that will make us thrive in what we do in every aspect of our lives.

Choose Joy.

xo. Kaley

Image credit: Pinterest