What the F Are We Waiting For?!

We all do the thing, all of us. We're presented with an opportunity, or have a brilliant idea, or a goal we'd like to accomplish, then we hum and haw, procrastinate, or tell ourselves we can't. WHY?! I'm not here to deep dive into the human brain, let's be honest, but I can tell you, I suffer from this too!

6ish years ago a good friend, Lily, asked me "Can you take some photos of our first look for our wedding and then do some bridal party portraits?" My first answer "Um fuck no, I'm not good enough for that!" She laughed in my face and said "YES YOU ARE!" and from there, Primer Rust and Roses Photography was born. For Lily, I am thankful you encouraged me to STEP OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE!!!

I'd been doing photography as a hobby since I was about 15 - I'll be 38 this year. I took Photography courses in high school but that's it for the extent of "formal education" and a thousand things have changed with technology since then. If you dig into the archives, I have hundreds of images of friends bands - shout out to the Seylynn Hall crew, and what feels like a million photos of flowers. Mostly, I just loved documenting the things I was passionate about, music, nature, motorsports, and having those memories to keep of camp trips with friends, the fun parties we had in our 20's, and documenting all the moments with family as my nieces and nephews grew. But I NEVER thought I'd step into photography as an income source.

Starting out wasn't as hard as I expected - the hardest was yet to come, but I had A LOT of growth to do if I was going to have paid gigs. I dove into teaching myself photo editing programs like Lightroom, and getting myself comfortable with camera settings that I hadn't ever utilized before. I was 100% scared to fail, to not be seen as worthy of pay. Lucky for me, I had a great group of friends in the Lower Mainland who were willing to be models for my learning sessions, who didn't take advantage of my free shoots, who promoted me, recommended me, and supported my business. These people helped me grow, and I found myself having just enough shoots to supplement my day job and keep my creativity flowing.

Cue 5 years into operation as a "side hustle" only, and we decided to move our entire lives & main business to Armstrong, BC. Here I am, on to the hard part, so used to having word of mouth, and ZERO clue about marketing to a new audience. I was lost. I almost said "FUCK IT!" I questioned how I could stand out in the saturated Okanagan photography market. Kelowna, Lake Country, Vernon, Armstrong, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, everywhere close by, all filled with amazingly talented photographers. How could little old me compare?! Instead, I persevered forward and started learning how to improve my social media game, update my website to include proper SEO, and market to the right audience. I won't say it's been an easy journey. I'm still incredibly confused by SEO, and marketing is HARD you guys, not at all conducive to social media these days. It will never be a strong suit for me, but I'm pressing on and proud of what I have learned.

Imposter syndrome seems to be another downfall of creatives. We get it in our heads that we aren't good enough, our work isn't on par with others, that we don't actually know what we're doing (Does anyone?! Aren't we all just wingin life 99% of the time hahaha) and then we put ourselves in a little pocket of despair. I'll admit I felt it the other day when I went to a creative styled session with models from the UBCO Heat Basketball Mens & Womens teams at UBCO Kelowna put on by Pretty Not Bad - I'll throw up another blog post for more on that later! I hadn't worked with any kind of professional lighting since that high school course, and to top it off I'd been sick with a cold all week, totally down in the dumps. I kicked my own ass into reminding myself that we all have our niche, our own brand of talent, our own vibe, and that is such a cool thing about creators! I reminded myself that I don't want my work to look like anyone else, that I worked hard to make it to the point that I'm at, that I'll be forever learning and growing which is amazing in itself!