I believe that without self-reflection it is nearly impossible to move forward in life. That is exactly why I find it so important to attend a conference such as The Portrait Masters which forces me so far past my comfort zones that all I can do is embrace change. Change is frightening as it inevitably suggests that what we have chosen to succeed in our previous version of life will no longer serve the life that is calling us forward.
My first year attending this conference was in 2018. I remember leaving the conference feeling as though the anchor I had carried around during my career that had kept me from creating the way I wanted rather than what I felt I was expected to create in order to maintain a sustainable business had quite literally been unchained from my body. It was a painful release and one that changed the trajectory of my entire career. I felt more inspired to work to attain my goals as never before.
Fast forward to 2019, I anxiously anticipated returning to TPM conference. Over the past couple of days, I was welcomed by the same incredible community that had pushed me forward previously but something still felt familiarly uncomfortable. I was being remembered by previous attendees who graciously commended me on my work. My work was hardly critiqued and it felt wrong...
You see, this is the life of any creative person. We struggle so very hard to see our worth. I often can not help but to feel like I am wearing a mask, an imposter in a sea of genius artists, regardless of the praise I receive. It shakes me to my core.
However, this is my promise, to you my dedicated reader, my client, my friend and loved one...You always believe in me when I never believe in myself. You push me to succeed and force me to grow because you have loved me in my darkest and weakest moments as an artist. For that reason alone, I will choose to show up and create, to challenge myself as never before so that I may show the same love in my work as you have always shown me.
Thank you to Lara Jade for challenging me to find my voice in this industry, to never give up and to work relentlessly toward a life most can only dream about. Thank you Dayron Vera for your honest and passionate expression of life through your lens. Thank you India Earl for bringing joy and human connection to the forefront of why we photograph people as our subjects to begin with. And, lastly, thank you Sue Bryce. Without your vision and undeniable determination to educate and create this community, there's no doubt that I would have been able to grow so honestly and authentically as an artist.
"The universe will provide a way for you. Don't be afraid of how things will work out, just believe that it is. The unknown is full of discoveries. You'll be supported, guided, and lead in ways in which you can't even imagine when you decide to trust and follow your heart."
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