I am not a photographer {personal}

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


No, let me explain what I mean by that - before all my clients get very worried that they've hired a fraud. Photography is my main trade right now. It's what I do to earn money, and it's one of my favorite things to do. I am invigorated by it, I love the way it stirs my creativity, and the fact that there is always something new to learn about it, some new discovery to make. I would be happy if it were something that I got to do on a regular basis for the rest of my life, but I don't know for a fact that that's how it will pan out.

And photography is not, and cannot be the only thing that defines me, and who I am as a person.

A friend sent me this quote a while back, and it has stuck with me ever since:
"A human should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." --Robert Heinlein

I don't want to be just a photographer. I want to be an artist in the full sense of the word. I want to take a painting class, and a calligraphy class. I want to learn to see and create beauty with more than just my camera. But even outside the realm of being an artist, I want to be continually working on being a better daughter, sister, friend, cook, organizer, teacher, learner, listener, reader, and speaker. And guess what? Most of those things cannot be learned while sitting in front of a computer screen, which is where I find myself most of the time these days. Yes, I have an obligation to my paying clients to do my work in a timely manner, so there are some days when I will need to shut myself up and plow through my work. But I never want my calendar to be so full of "photography" work, that I don't have time for all of my "other" work - some of which is so much more important.

I want to make time to cook more meals, give more hugs, go on more bike rides, read more books, tuck little siblings into bed and kiss them goodnight, watch a movie, have real conversations with real friends, keep up with journaling . . . and the list could go on and on.

And let me be very very honest here, I'm terrible at it. I know this, and I want to change it. I don't want to look back and see that I spent two years of my life building a business in a way that left me with nothing but just that - a business.

I made dinner the other night, because I hadn't really cooked in forever, and was dying too.


You just can't beat homemade pretzels (with cheese and jalapenos on them!) fresh corn on the cob, and grilled chicken salad.


Best Summer meal eveeerrrr.


We've all heard it said a million times, but I think it's worth saying again: No one ever comes to the end of their life and wishes they had spent more time in the office.

I have another friend that posted this as his status the other day and boy did it strike home: "Priorities are what we *do* -- everything else is just talk." I don't want this to just be "talk" that I post on my blog, and then never do anything about, keep me accountable my friends!

So, I guess I should say - I am not (just) a photographer. And I hope I never am :) Now I'm off to "butcher a hog..."
I kid I KID.

Much Love.
Jessica Shae
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12 comments:

  1. The pretzels sound great, minus the jalapenos. :)
    Looks like a delicious meal for sure!

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  2. love it so true and now I am hunry

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  3. Fabulous!! And I love that quote!!!!

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  4. How inspiring!!! Very motivating :), thank you.

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  5. Jessica. You're inspiring! I really hear what you're saying here... needed to hear it in fact. So thank you for laying this out there for all to see... that can be hard. Here's to truly living! (And planning an invasion! :D)

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  6. Beautifully said, Jessica. I've loved seeing your work roll thru my RSS feed.... You are so talented!

    And that salad looks delicious!!!

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  7. Soooooo true, and soooooo where I am, too. It's such a challenge to get off the computer and do other things of worth!

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  8. I'm a bit late, but wanted to chime in and add that what you said is so true, and is definitely something I too am working on right now. It can be so hard, but worth it!

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Oh hey!
Thanks for taking the time to say hello, it makes my day everytime! :)

Jessica Shae