Self assessment

Very recently a friend facebooked me and was telling me about his schedule for school for photography. Reading the list of classes he was taking made me utterly jealous. That is what I wanted to be doing, and what I should have been doing. But for whatever reason, I let myself get behind.

I find myself too often thinking of what I could have done to make this life seem different. Sometimes we get so caught up in everything else that surrounds us that we forget that we just need to take chances. Those who follow you will surely be there in the long run no matter where you end up and those who stay behind were never meant to stick around in the first place. I want to evolve and grow into someone who I know I can be and want to be. It’s just a matter of getting the courage to do it.

The first courageous step was going into a photography program and graduating. That in itself was a challenge. I don’t often commit to do things to the end and was unbelievably amazed by myself that I actually did it. And that for the most part was actually good at it! It was a hobby turned career in the blink of an eye. I’m proud of us who stuck with the program and pushed everyone else to do their best because we were all meant to be there. To make a difference in our community of photographers/imagemakers. Not to mention, we graduated. I’m one of those people who do not think community colleges are real colleges. I know horrible right? I mean, I’ve been at that school for a number of years and it just did not feel like college to me.  But the fact that I completed everything and graduated, only made me realize that I put in more work than I ever have before. And the reason that it did not feel like college was because within our program it was more like a home and family. I would not have given that up for anything. It was like Cathy was the mom, John was the stern dad and Patrick was the crazy uncle. We could turn to them when we had a problem or even if we just needed some real guidance. You don’t get that often with some teachers. I’m truly grateful to them.

The next courageous step for me is the marriage to a wonderful man. I would not have finished school if it weren’t for Ronald. He spent many days comforting me and reassuring me that I was just as good as everyone else, if not better. For that, it made all the difference. There is nothing better than knowing that you can cry in front of someone and that they will always wipe away your tears and make you feel good about yourself. He isn’t always so sweet, he calls me out on my bullshit when he needs to. There is nothing worse than hearing the excuses of others, and with me, he won’t have it. Because we both know that there are no excuses and that things only work out if you try to make them work. Nothing comes for free we’ve found and the challenges that face us in the near future [very near future] will be our greatest victories together. Monday, August 1st, will mark our six year anniversary. Six LONG years, probably the best years of my life. 😀

My next courageous step… into the unknown world I suppose. I would hope that once Ronald and I get things settled, I’ll be able to really think about where I want my photography career to take me. I think about art school often and the things that I think I would excel in. Only time will tell and I think that is what scares me. I don’t know what is in store and to be frank, I’m not one for not knowing what’s going to happen. I like to be in the loop and know every possible detail. So to NOT know where I may end up is really scary. But like we have learned in the past two years, you can’t get somewhere if you don’t try to get there first. Our field is not about waiting in line and hoping that someone will pick you for the job. It’s about taking the bull by its horns! There are plenty of people out there who have the same skills and will gladly take your place if you hesitate for even the slightest moment.

So… thank you Ira for posting your school schedule on my facebook page. It really opened my eyes and for once made me think about myself and my future career as a photographer. I think that your successes have made me step up as a photographer and I always considered us great competitors in class, even though I know that’s not what it really was. You have inspired me in so many ways because you never faltered and constantly pushed yourself to be a better photographer and a better person as well. I think that it was fate that I ended up in your class, because if not, I would not have the great friendships that I have today and the motivation and courage to keep going.

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3 thoughts on “Self assessment

  1. I want to mention a couple quotes that I live by, “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” and “the greater the talent, the greater the doubt.” The first quote was by an unknown author and I’m not sure where I read the other one because it was so long ago but these are very true and have to constantly be thought of as an artist. You are an artist and you strive for perfection. So, in our creative minds our images are never going to be good enough. I see something wrong with every one of my images. I am afraid on every shoot that the client wont like the photographs. Use that self doubt to become a better photographer. I am always reading and searching for new techniques to make my images the quality of those that I admire. Turn that negative notion of “I need to be better” into the mind set of “I will be better”. Every shoot is a chance to prove yourself and not to the world or your competitors, that will drive you crazy, but to yourself. That is the only way you will be content in your endeavors. You are a good photographer, Christina. Unfortunately others will see it more then you. I believe that is Gods way of never allowing us to be ideal and always growing. Every time I hung your photos at the silent auctions I would stand back and think, “how does she do so well with the fine art? I wish I could do that.” You have a great eye for textures and colors within images. The downside is that there is a lot of competition but the upside is that there isn’t that much talent. You have found what you are talented with, now you just need to pinpoint it in a certain area. And I will be completely honest with you, RIT strips away my confidence. Almost every photography magazine I look in has a contestant winner from RIT. I know I’m going to the right place for me but it will be a challenge. With that said I will leave you with one more quote, “If it isn’t hard to accomplish then it isn’t worth pursuing”.

    It has been a great two years and we all have to definitely stay in touch.

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