And just like that, I have made it through one-quarter of a century of my life.
Turning 25 was an exciting moment. Being halfway through my 20’s is bittersweet, but the transformation I have made in just one year has had a huge impact on my life. Last year I decided that I had enough of the young 20-year-old activities. You know the ways most 20 year old's spend their weekends, hanging out with friends until late hours of the night and mixing that with alcohol. Nine times out of ten combining those two things never ends well.
I had just turned 24 with a bachelors degree and I still had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Most of my friends were starting their careers in the medical field and I was scared that I was getting left behind.
This was the year that I finally decided to pursue my dream as an “art student.” And after four years of listening to others bring me down for the career path I chose, I decided to start spending my weekends educating myself in what I knew was the right chose for me. I was so lucky to have found an amazing online community of photographers and educators. These past six months I spent most of my free time and weekends learning from others and building relationships with people who share the same passion as I do.
I finally found my style and identity in the photography world.
This year I have grown more than any other year in my life, as a person and as a photographer. When you start to give everything you have towards your dreams, soon your dreams become a reality. Photographing couples is something that truly excites me down to the core. During one of my learning sessions a few months ago one of my friends asked me why I was so bubbly? I responded that I am finally doing something that makes me so excited that I can't even contain it, I just have to let it out!
That's what this it to me. I get to share my vision with the world. That excites me, sometimes it terrifies me, but it mostly excites me.
Most of my free time I still dedicate to learning and now reading. I believe there is always something you can do better. I don't believe in perfection, but I believe in growth. I take all of my sessions as a learning experience. I love my work, but I know what I can change next time even if it's a tiny adjustment to make it better. I learn from myself and I reach out to others.
What do I have to look forward to at 25?
This summer I am looking forward to turning all of my winter journal clippings into realities. Having the freedom to express myself has been one of the most exciting parts.
I am so excited to finally have the opportunity to meet with other amazing photographers from all over the country. The one thing that is so important to me is that no matter how much experience someone has, 10 years or 10 months, we help each other. We believe in community over competition. We build each other up to be better than we ever expected we could.
Writing to an empty audience is discouraging. Sharing something you love with the world although they might not love it back is intimidating. But I didn’t choose this path for the vacant audience or the different opinions of the world. I chose this path for my very own true happiness.
Every story has a beginning and this is mine.
Happy Birthday, Jeannine. You're Doing Great - A Message From Yourself!