I kinda hate when photographers post photos of then/now work.
Sometimes I actually like the then photo more which makes me laugh, but I also know someone paid them for that before work.
So why am I doing it now?
Anyone who knows me knows this. I am a hobbit.
I do not want to leave my hobbit hole.
All I want in life is to be left alone with a warm blanket, a good book, cocoa....and Netflix.
Over four years ago I was on Facebook at one in the morning when I saw a cute profile photo. I messaged this random person just to tell her I liked it. She looked me up. No way Tree! Your a photographer! You are right across the street from me! Guess what we are trying to do!
She had dumped her studio for a beat up school building and wanted to start a Co-op. Not a rental space but a Co-op. Where we all made decisions and chipped in to make things better.
It's Nebraska 6 months are freezing and the other 6 are a hundred degrees with tornados. I needed a studio space for my clients. I jumped in.
It was amazing to watch the change. It started out as two rooms. Over the years more walls came down and it is now at seven rooms and an outdoor farm space.
If we had a problem all we had to do was put up a message on our forum and someone was there. Keys lost? Camera Battery died? You have 20 cheerleaders to photograph and need an assistant?
More importantly were the classes. Yes I spent a ton of money on learning videos but nothing was as effective as having an actual human being there to show you on your camera.
We all chipped in with what we knew to help the other photographers in the Co-op. Lighting, posing, workflow. I learned a lot.
Sometimes it was not even in classes.
I was setting up for my session as another photographer was leaving. We had a really cool kid's car that all of the clients wanted. I walked over and dropped a blanket on it. She looked up and asked me, "Why did you do that?"
"Oh well all the kids love it but if they see it at the start it's in every photo and then there are tears when you try to take it away."
"OMG You just changed my life." LOL as you can see it really was just the little things sometimes.
My business grew and expanded. I finally outgrew the studio. It was time to leave.
I miss the friends, advice, atmosphere and mostly the classes with pizza but it was time.
Why this long rambling story?
I still have a lot to learn but if you look at my then and now you will see what a huge difference having a tribe of fellow photographers behind me has made.
Getting out more has been on my New Year Resolution List for the last decade. I wanted to show you that if you take a breath and toss yourself out there the huge difference it will make in your life.
As it ends with all my son's fairytale books.
The Moral of the Story is get out there and find your Tribe!