Today I'm sharing about a milestone that runs deep, and is stitched with so many remnants of a past life and of every day since that I've fought for. Today I was accepted to be a contributor for a major photography agency that works in the book publishing industry. They work with publishing houses all over the world to help them find the perfect photograph or artwork for a particular book cover. I am now one of the photographers that helps to provide those perfect photographs to their clients. In the near future, I may just be able to visit the nearest Barnes and Noble and find my photographs on the cover of beautiful books.
This milestone means so many things to me. I’ve wandered around trying to find a sense of direction now for almost 6 years... ever since my fiance died. I’ve tried countless directions with my art… and each one has had a feeling like it just didn’t quite “fit” for me. As I’ve learned, there are about as many different ways to be an artist as their are types of people. But this one - which marries my love of photography and storytelling - feels like a perfect match.
I can’t help but think back… I’ve been picking up a camera and capturing the world as I see it for almost ten years now. That's hard to believe. In the earliest years, photography was just a thing I enjoyed. After the death of my fiance in 2012, that changed. It became way of being... the way I kept breathing through the pain of loss. It revealed to me new worlds and new ways to see both myself and everything around me.
This new opportunity isn’t just a possibility for career growth. As with any great new milestone in our lives, it ties back to the entire story of who I am and who I have been. It touches every struggle and every moment that I have doubted this wandering journey I took a chance on.
It's moments like these when I really can sit back a moment and take stock of things. There have been many years when I have felt like I'm getting nowhere fast, and sometimes nowhere at all. The past few years have in fact felt a lot like that, as I've had to learn how to slow down to let some other new and beautiful things enter my life... a new romantic relationship. A step-daughter. A new home up north, far away from my southern roots. I've struggled a lot with feeling like I'm not "doing enough" somehow creatively during this time of change. I've been hard on myself about not exploring greater creative challenges, when in reality maybe that wasn't what this time was about at all. In looking back, this time may have been more about discovering what's right in front of me than pushing my creative boundaries. Although I was creating without a sense of direction, this wandering has given me a stockpile of new work that will soon be submitted for licensing.
I paired this foggy path photograph with this post for a very specific reason. Because it's not always easy to keep faith in yourself when you can't see where you're going or what's ahead. It takes a tremendous amount of faith to keep trusting and making things during those times. I am so glad I didn't lose that faith. I don't know if I could have kept going this long, except that I made myself a promise when my fiance died that I would find what is meaningful to me and keep on doing it no matter what. It's that promise that has kept me going, and trying, and searching, and growing no matter how many times things haven't worked out or my sense of direction vanishes.
My photographs are more than just beautiful landscapes or details of flowers. They are small pieces of my own story of living on and striving to create a still beautiful life - no matter what life throws at me. They are the visual proof of my determination towards one goal: to find beauty and meaning in every piece of living a life.