On January 22nd of 2017 I uploaded my post “THE FIRST KICK”, in it I talked about my low self esteem and lack of inspiration. That was more for my benefit then anyone else, it was a personal promise to push myself further in 2017.
I wish I could say that 2017 was a magical year where all of my career dreams came true, but that wouldn’t be very honest. If I’m being honest it was like many other years, a week or two where I felt great and upload photo after photo, and then a week or two of self-doubt and procrastination. At one point I considered giving up photography and going back to school for something I could actually make money in!
But would I be happy on another career path? Did I want to be a quitter? The answer might be a little obvious but HELL NO! I might not have been kicking the entire year but I was definitely taking baby steps when my legs were to tired to kick.
So without further ado here is a recap of my 2017 kicks and baby steps!
JANUARY was a slow start with only 2 folders, 1 of some bird watching and the photos I took for my “first kick” blog! I hope to do a lot better for January 2018!
FEBRUARY honestly wasn't any better then January with only 2 folders, but with a new semester starting at the end of the month in which the first assignment was “fear” things started to get rolling.
In MARCH things started to pick up, I had 6 folders which was definitely an improvement!
APRIL was a little tricky with both midterms and a family vacation happening slapped right in the middle of all the testing but I still managed 4 folders!
MAY has a whooping 8 folders! It was the end of the semester and I was busy at work with my final!
I’m sad to say that JUNE and JULY are rather disappointing with only 1 folder each, I had just moved from Texas back to Florida and was having a hard time finding a job. I faltered in kicking and baby steps but the bad months make the good months feel more deserved!
AUGUST, AUGUST, AUGUST! I think August was my favorite month this year, this was a MAJOR kick for me. The month started normal, but I got gutsy. I have a coworker with two beautiful daughters… and I asked if I could take pictures of them. Now I know that doesn't sound too ground breaking but it was something I had never done before, I’m always to scared of rejection to put myself out there. Only this time I actually did it and it…was…AWESOME!
Now I made a few mistakes during this shoot, like I didn’t realize my camera was on jpeg and I was so used to shooting in a shallow depth of field that I failed to realize that if not completely on the same plane that one might be more out of focus then the other. Though the things I learned made the mistakes with it, and I though “This has been great! Who knows when I’ll get to do another portrait shoot?!”
The answer is 3 days later! You see I had taken the pictures of the girls at the hotel I worked at, and wouldn’t you know it a guest saw me taking the photos and ASKED TO HIRE ME! This was what putting myself out there did! It landed me my first client that not only paid me but was a complete stranger!
I had mundane photos as well that month, photos from a garden and a few from the hotel I work at. But I wanted to push myself a little more.
SEPTEMBER was an exciting month, because of everything that had happened in August I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my camera. For the past 5–6 years I’ve had the Nikon D90 (all photos to this point were taken on the D90), and while I’ve loved it I felt I was finally at the point where it was holding me back. Like a loved but worn paintbrush I needed to retire it and start new. I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark iii, I know it’s a big leap but I felt like it was a leap in the right direction.
This month was a little bit of a mess, I have about 16 folders from September but a lot of it is quite random. Since I had to not only adjust to a new camera brand but we had hurricane Irma coming our way. While we weren't hit bad in my area we did flee and then came back to no power for a almost a week.
Towards the end of the month I decided to get gutsy again and I asked another coworker if they wanted photos and they said YES! So I got to take photos of her with her daughter, it was another great experience and I’m glad I made this kick happen!
OCTOBER and NOVEMBER, I wish I could say that these two months were also big kicks, and they were, just in a different way. These two months and some of December was actually a wedding season for my hotel which was great because I actually got to take photos at ALL of the wedding for this season! (I was not the hired photographer, I just took photos for the hotels website and social media.)
Some of the wedding photos
A few non wedding photos from these two months.
DECEMBER has been a mixed bag so far, less photos but more challenge. I had the chance to photograph an adorable birthday party, and I’ve attempted to do two small photo shoots in my house. While not as exciting as other months I feel like trying to make my own shoots happen rather then waiting for them to happen is a great way to end the year, and an even better way to start the new year!
2017 was a mixed bag, but over all I feel like I made great development this year! For 2018 I plan to continue putting myself out there and trying as many new things as possible!
New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change. — — Sarah Ban Breathnach
All photos by Lacie Slezak