I’m not really a “one little word” person. I’ve seen people declaring their #OLW over the years, and have tried to think what mine could be each year, never coming up with one I thought was good enough or clever enough. This year, again, I can’t think of just one word, but the concept is there, and it all plays back to not being good enough or clever enough.
Over the past month I have dramatically limited my usage of social media, and have been loving it. Sure, I try to keep my business posts going and will check on specific friends if I know they have something big happening in their lives, but I haven’t scrolled through at all. I am trying to be more present, and I struggle with my feelings toward social media in many ways. Admittedly, it was having a negative affect on me for awhile. I would see images and think, why can’t I take photos like that, maybe I should only post quality images, look at that room in that house–I wish my house was better decorated, oh I want that for my kids, Ugh I wish I was doing more personal styled gorgeous shoots like this, I should blog more, I should be doing more with my kids instead of working so much, I should be working more, and so on and so forth. I’d sometimes even get my feelings hurt by things I saw, and realized it wasn’t healthy to allow something so trivial to have so much power over me, especially when so very few things you see on social media are reality.
I know sometimes people fight to get that one adorable shot they share. I have seen reality restaged so it’s more appealing. I know sometimes the super clean well decorated room in an image might be the only room like it in an entire house. We all struggle, it’s not all perfect, so maybe we don’t need to paint that picture? I don’t need social media, and I don’t need it–or followers, or likes–to reaffirm my own identity, to establish who I am or who I want to be. No man can serve two masters. Here’s a really great article on the subject.
So this is where I’m at. I don’t want to perpetuate this image that isn’t true–in social media, in my business or in life. I don’t want to just share things to make myself look good, I want to be real, even if its the messy, imperfect bits. I want to be relatable. I don’t want to make people feel like what they’re doing isn’t good enough, that it doesn’t measure up, that they need to do more. I want to be genuine, honest, authentic. I could just sign off of social media completely, but I live in this world, and I can use it in a more positive authentic way that could have an even greater impact.
When it comes to my personal shoots, I want to do something with a purpose. I want happy clients. I want to capture memories and a time in peoples lives they can’t get back to. I want them to hold on to those images and memories for a lifetime as something to treasure. I want to produce something good, something meaningful. I want this to be my standard of measure, not what other photographers are doing or the shoots they put on.
At the very core of everything is my love for God. I ask myself, “does what I am doing or what I am saying/sharing/portraying serve or glorify Him?” If the answer is no, then I need to course correct. I’ve already been doing this in some ways, but I need to expand it. I need to share His love more, without fear. I worry that the message will be “look at me, I am a Christian, I serve God”, which is boastful and steals His glory, and isn’t my intent. I hope that through Him I can achieve these goals with a humble heart and humility. None of it is possible without Him, and I pray he will continue to guide my life and business toward His purpose.
I don’t have one little word, but I hope you’ll follow along in my journey to serve these ideas through 2015. Happy New Year.