I talk a lot about honest photography. Celebrating authenticity. Embracing messy. But why? Maybe because the further I dive into the creative journey of photography, the more I am realising that my best work comes when I am tapping into those places within myself.
I used to truly believe that if people knew the chaotic and tangled parts of me, then there's no way I would ever get booked! I used to make a concerted effort to paint the perfect picture of who I was and only share the good (hashtag so blessed).
Want to know something? Once I started really owning my shit, and loving, embracing and sharing the crazy, the difficult, and the complex parts of my life, an incredible shift occurred. My life became richer. I started attracting SO.MUCH.GOOD. Sublime people. Clients who get me. Who trust me. Full hearts. Ridiculous amounts of joy. Love. Connection. Not just in my work life, but in my personal life, too.
I describe the way it feels to photograph people now as flying a kite. It feels free. It feels true. Someone once asked me how I create the connections between people in my photographs. The answer is vulnerability. I don't "create" anything, I just encourage what is already there in front of me. Their connections are real, because I'm real with them. They are open, because I am open with them. When you are prepared to take the risk and be vulnerable, people respond with equal vulnerability. Something that was impossible to achieve when I was hell bent on being "perfect".
That's what being authentic is about. I'm not afraid anymore to share my mess, and I embrace the truth of everyone I meet. I refuse to paint the picture of the perfect life. People want to connect with something that's real, and I won't live another day being anything but real.
I am so lucky to be part of a gorgeous, close, wonderful group of photographers who are never afraid to share their wisdom, their gains, their failures, their hopes and their dreams. Shooting With Soul is a collective of women who simply love what they do, because for them, it goes deeper than it just being a job.
Please click through to see my favourite documentary photographer Natasha Kelly Photography's SWS blog post for July.