I'll say it almost every time, but I LOVE having guest bloggers on here! Elizabeth and I have known each other from some time and really didn't connect until this past two years or so! It's an honor to have her write a post on here and I hope you enjoy it <3
I’m so honored that Alex asked me to be part of her blog. I’ve known this girl since our high school days and I cannot believe how much this girl has grown as a human and a creative mind. Her work is gorgeous and her business mind is inspiring! Thank you so much for letting me share a small piece of my mind, Alex! :)
So are you an artist or a business owner? I don’t get this question asked often by my clients or friends, but it’s one I ask myself often. Am I a photographer to pay rent or because I find beauty in everything and truly want to capture it? Do I really put my heart and soul into each project or slide through giving the bare minimum? Every artist or business owner doubts themselves sometimes. We doubt our process, our finished product, our finances. And as photographers, I believe we are both artists and business owners. We are lucky enough to have two titles with many responsibilities.
I’ve been shooting portraits since I was 12 years old (I’m currently 21) and I made my photography business full time in June 2015 and since then, life has been full of many ups and downs. I’ve struggled with everything from financial stability through slow season to changing my editing style. What I want to talk about in this post are the ways I’ve found my balance of art and business. Because, at least for me, the end goal for business is for my finances and my artistry to flourish.
No one is confident every day of their life. No one. But I’m a firm believer in the energy you put into the world is what you’ll get back. Showing that you’re confident in your art, love what you do and are ready to kick ass? It shows! When talking with clients don’t forget to smile, laugh and be a real human with them. Confidence is not about simply showing off or being overly hot headed about your ability. It’s about a wonderful balance of transparency and strength. Be strong and confident enough to show your weaknesses and still know you are full of talent! And being confident not only helps your client have more faith in you, it give you more faith in you. Love the person you are and own it. It seems simple, but truly loving yourself and letting go of those insecurities will drop loads of stress and worry from your mind!
Don’t forget you’re an artist, too. As artists we are our biggest critic.
Be willing to give your time and effort into each project - paid gig or not. For me, I struggle with losing interest in my paid shoots at times rather than the ones I do just for me. When it’s for me, I think about every detail. But it’s easy for me to zone out and just coast in my comfort zone with my paying clients. Shooting similar subjects, in similar locations, with similar edits over and over can be draining. Just remember, no matter what the project is… it’s YOURS. Your art, your vision, your work is being transformed into something tangible. Don’t forget how amazing, terrifying and exciting that is! Take time to put 110% into all you do, be proud of each thing you create and really put your best effort into your work each time. Create from what you feel, what you smell, what you touch - all the little things.
Don’t forget you’re an artist, too. Create. Evolve.
Have awareness of the beauty of the every day.
Yes I’m telling you to be confident and humble at the same time. ;) I don’t mean this in the timid/shy sense of the word. Since I started my full time artist journey, I’ve had to be humble and feel small many, many times. I’ve been behind on rent, unable to go out with friends or simply felt overwhelmed by the hugeness of running your own business. My advice is to learn to be okay with this feeling. It’s a careful balance of knowing your worth and knowing you have a lot more to learn. Ask for advice from artists who inspire you. Go through that gallery you’ve been through a million times until you find the perfect edit. Every human has bad days, not every pushes through it.
Don’t forget you’re an artist, too.
Some days are better spent being inspired instead of creating.
Ask for help. Get hugs. It’s okay.
I hope this helps you in some small way come back to the basics. To remember why you create and who you are as an artist. It takes so much strength and vulnerability to step out into the abyss of being an artist. It’s oh so scary, but oh so worth it. :) I encourage you to take 30 minutes today to listen to a podcast, read an article, etc. by your favorite artists. Get inspired and go be amazing today!
Bio: Hi, I’m Elizabeth Sims! I’m 21 and married to my best friend, Richard. I’ve been a photographer for almost 10 years now and there’s nothing I love more than exploring the world - camera in hand. I’ve shot just about everything under the sun but I’ve recently found my true passion in shooting elopements, intimate weddings and seniors. I also shoot a lot of conceptual work and have a few photojournalism projects in the works. When I don’t have a camera on me, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or singing with my husband. I have an obsession with bonsai trees, finding obscure coffee shops and walking barefoot anywhere possible.