Winter is always the time that I take a break from shooting, but lately I've been getting cabin fever and wanted to shoot something fun that was just for me. Unfortunately, my camera is currently at Canon for a repair! I thought about renting a camera, but before finalizing my order I figured I would go out on a limb & see if I could borrow one. Without batting an eye, not one but TWO of my fellow Cowley County photographers offered to let me borrow a camera body. In photographer world, that takes a ton of trust & generosity, and as far as I'm concerned it shows just how much our local group is willing to help each other out. My peers' eagerness to help me really got me thinking about the way people (women and girls specifically) treat each other.
I am immersed in a world of women- from my teen clients to my fellow female photographers & small business owners, so I am all too familiar with the comparison monster and the damage it can cause. I have no idea why we are so obsessed with what each other is doing, but take one look at Facebook or Twitter and you will find that girls are judging each other over the most insignificant things. And the sad thing is, it's not just teenagers. We ALL do it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the judgement that we end up disliking people we don't even know! So when opportunities come around to genuinely help someone (especially in a way that might make them more successful) I think we often let them pass by without a second glance. But you're just looking out for #1 right? Wrong.
Newsflash: WE RISE BY LIFTING OTHERS.
When you make someone else feel good about themselves, it brings you joy in return. The same thing goes with competition and success. When you stop perceiving other women as threats, and start treating them as teammates, everyone benefits. We have got to learn that someone else's talent does not diminish our own, and someone else's success does not equal our failure. Trust me, if Beyoncé & Adele can coexist (and SLAY!) in the same universe, then you can share a zip code with talented people who share your goals & interests.
This is why I love my support group of photographers. From Ark City & Winfield to Texas, Louisiana, Oregon and everywhere in between, I have a killer group of talented women in my tribe that I can message for advice anytime (or maybe just send lip-sync snapchats to!) They always help me remember that there's enough success to go around and that there is more power in community than there is in competition.
So, needless to say from these rockin photos with Ashtyn (who agreed to model with less than 24 hours notice!) I was able to borrow a camera and throw together a little Valentine shoot. Thanks to sweet, kind hearted Alisha Call from On the Wall Photography, I got go capture a beautiful & silly girl who I just KNOW is putting a smile on your face as a result. I mean- she had me cracking up the whole time that's for sure!
Have a Happy Valentine's Day ya'll, and don't forget to be NICE to each other!!