As an artist, somewhere along the line someone will ask you why you do what you do. Why it’s so important to you that it feels like if you DON’T do it, you may be sick, you may feel lost, you may feel all those feelings of non-fulfillment that are so completely debilitating.
I’ve been there.
I’ve been lost.
I’ve filled the buckets with tears and then dug deeper.
I’ve asked myself “Why”, over and over again.
Until one day when someone wouldn’t let me go after they asked WHY I wanted to be a family photographer and I responded with the typical “I makes me happy, I love families”.
It was my mentor and we were getting into those juicy hard parts of being a business owner. The personal parts that dig deeper, into the wet sands of your soul.
She kept asking why.
And each time I dug deeper.
And each answer got closer, yet more complex.
Until all of a sudden tears came out and I understood.
Why did I want to be a family photographer?
Because when I was little, I saw all of my friends with family portraits in their home, the typical happy family, and yet none of them fit my family. None of them were portraits with mom and dad in different homes. And none of them made me feel like what I had, however broken I felt it was, could be considered a family worthy of celebrating.
Because family is 2 kids, a mom, dad, dog, and a white picket fence, right?
Well, that’s what I thought, because that’s what I saw around me.
And without realizing it, I would set myself on a lifetime quest to never ever let other kids look around and feel like their family isn’t good enough because it just doesn’t fit in a certain mold. Love is love whether it’s from parents who are together or not. Family is where the love is.
Family = Home
For so long I ran and ran from that. Never believing that I was deserving of what would be “normal”. So I never dreamed of marriage, but I dreamed of kids. I dreamed of Christmas mornings with them, and vacations together with them, and playing with them. I dream of never ever, whatever life brings, letting them feel like I did or not seeing a portrayal of their unique family, whatever the make-up may be.
The reason I put a few of these portraits together with this is because the first time I talked about that to anyone other than my mentor, was to 60 photographers from all over the world a few weeks ago in Hawaii (where I also photographed these, It feels like this is a story of search, find, and happiness.. I love that).. I talked about finding your why. It has to be more than making money, or a nice car.. It has to come from somewhere deeper and intangible.
So many people are on a search for this reason of being, the way you can serve others in your life. I promise you, this isn’t an easy path, but once you run it, once you find your reason where all of your art and being comes from, you’ll never be the same again.