Gratitude & Attitude – # 2 Bazillion and 29

Sooooooo…yah…

I’ve been ridiculously neglectful with blogging lately, but in my defense, I have extreme Attention Deficit right now and can usually focus for about 13.4 seconds before my brain switches gears and I’m off chasing shiny objects!

.….Squirrel…..

Monday was, hands down, the BEST day I have had in more than two years. I slept really, reallllllly well on Sunday night after a nice hike in the mountains with my boys and dinner and a movie (The Avengers…epic excellentness!) and woke up at 6 a.m. on Monday morning with a metric ton of energy. I have not woken with energy in years. My adrenal glands aren’t working properly and, as a result, my cortisol levels are reversed. Normal people have high cortisol in the a.m. and it depletes as the day goes along so they are nice and tired by the end of it. I’m definitely not normal people, so my levels are reversed and I am usually most awake from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and a zombie from the time I wake up until about 10 or 11 a.m.. I have been utilizing a Naturopath (Jen Matthews from Full Circle Healing Arts) and acupuncture (Jen Larsen from Vital Point Acupuncture) to boost my immune system and reverse all the damage that has been done by my brain. I believe it is finally beginning to work and I am having some good days here and there where my body isn’t constantly aching, my head doesn’t feel like it may explode and my attention span lasts longer than 13.4 seconds…

…Oh, hello kitty…

Where was I? Oh yes! Progress is progress, no matter how small or infrequent, so right now I feel like dancing a jig, but since I’m energy depleted again today, I figured I’d just blog instead. 🙂

And, by blogging, I mean a quick G&A for those of you who are dying to read about what’s pissing me off lately and what’s making me smile and feel all fuzzy wuzzy.

Without further ado, today’s ATTITUDE is going out to:

  1. People who treat the search for a photographer as though they are shopping for a car or a  super fancy TV. I constantly get email inquiries that ask me nothing except, “How much do you charge?”. This part wouldn’t bother me so much if they actually asked me anything about what I offer them in the way of services, why I think I stand out amongst my competition, etc., but for so many of these emails, the human aspect doesn’t even rate. When I get these inquiries,  it instantly tells me that  the person asking doesn’t think what I do or how I do it is nearly as important or meaningful as how much I cost.  I have no problem letting these people know that we won’t be a good fit for each other and passing on the contact info of three or four other photographers I know who might be willing to be hired by them.  I made up my mind awhile ago that I want to attract clients who see my work and know that they want me to shoot for them. I stick to my guns on this and, as a result, I have clients who really value photography and have rearranged their entire wedding budget to fit my price into it (how cool is that!!!!) or saved for months to come and do a boudoir session with me! I have also not had a “difficult” client in a very long time because the people who hire me are comfortable with me, trust in me and already like my work.  So, I guess this doesn’t piss me off so much as make me feel like an object rather than a person with a diverse skill set.  Who wants to feel objectified and undervalued? Not this chick! In fact, I would rather take a handful of clients who value my work each year  and get another job to top up my income (thereby demoting myself to amateur photographer status) than take on clients who want to hire me just based on whether or not I fit their budget. I’m sure some judgy judgerson’s out there are thinking I’m so hoity toity to put so much value in myself  and believe I am worth something. You would be correct!!!
  2. Professional vs. Amateur mentality. Last week I received an email from someone who claimed to be a professional photographer. When I checked out this person’s website and looked at their photos, their prices, etc., it was completely apparent to me that this person a) did not have professional equipment and did not have a good grasp on how to use the equipment they did have and  b) did not charge enough to ever be able to make a living from photography alone. In my mind, a professional photographer knows how to shoot (and it shows in their photos because even though they may deviate from the “textbook” methods of shooting now and then, the majority of their pics show a consistency and reproducible element) and earns their living exclusively from their photography business.  Someone who takes photos occasionally for money (and does so part-time while working in another job) and who has no consistency in their photos is an amateur photographer. I was an amateur photographer for years before I understood enough about shooting to reproduce consistent images by understanding how to run my equipment, how to use light to create dimension, etc., and how to run a business to ensure I could make a living with photography. I never, during those first years, had the balls to call myself a pro – mainly because I’m not into the whole “fake it til you make it” mentality. I used to tell people that I took pictures, but I also used to add that I was still learning (which, of course, I still am and always will be if I am ever to remain good at what I do) and that I would eventually make a good living at it. If I decided to become a part-time photographer tomorrow and work for someone else at the same time, I would happily let people know that I was an amateur photographer who occasionally did a shoot for money. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you are an amateur as the word itself is not negative, but truthful. People are not going to be less likely to hire you if they love your work but you only take pictures part-time. You would be surprised at how far honesty can take a person in this business. If you say you are a professional, you damned well better deliver professional results. This means having professional equipment and knowing how to use it (and yes, I realize some photographers will vehemently disagree with me on this point, but I don’t really care), having your clients sign contracts for your work when it’s necessary, delivering everything you promise in the time and capacity you promised it, having the means to solve disputes about your work, going out of your way to deliver the best customer service possible, etc. Okay, I’ve blathered on enough. In a nutshell, be honest with yourself and others about whether or not you are a pro or an amateur.

Now, let’s just forget that I bitched about anything and end this post on a positive note!

Today’s super dee duper awesome GRATITUDE goes out to:

  1. iMac. That is all!
  2. Jen Matthews (my Naturopath from Full Circle Healing Arts). When I first went in to see her, she sat down with me and listened to everything that’s going on with my health and asked me about 8 million questions for over an hour before she explained everything that was going on with my body and why my immune system is so beat down right now. With her help and that of my awesome poke poke lady (Jen Larsen from Vital Point Acupuncture), I am feeling so much better already and anticipate it can only keep going up from here. If you have health issues, I highly recommend seeing either of my Jens as they have both done more for me than western medicine ever has. 🙂
  3. My mom. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately and admiring how resilient and strong she always was. I know I get my strength and capacity to keep on trucking from her and I’m so grateful I had her for the 24 years that I did because it made me able to handle anything that comes my way in life.
  4. My stepdaddy! It doesn’t matter how often I see him, I always know that I can talk to him about anything and he will understand me and be supportive, even if he doesn’t agree with me. He also has no problem with telling me to pull my head out of my ass if I’m being ridiculous or stubborn. It’s awesome to have a sounding board when life throws me curves that I can’t talk about with just anybody. Thanks Mike!
  5. My derby peeps. Lately, most of us have been meshing really well and it’s due, in a huge part, to the upbeat, open and honest energy that’s floating around the club. That’s really hard to achieve with such a large group of chicks. I’m impressed and happy that it is working out this way.
  6. The book Thrive by Brendan Brazier. It’s all about eating Vegan if you’re an athlete, but even though I’m not vegan (who knows what the future may bring), I’ve learned more about my body and how to get the very best out of it from this one book than I’ve learned in my entire life. He just makes sense when he writes and the things he says stick in my head because of that. I can’t wait to try his 12 week meal plan (all vegan), just to see how much of a difference it will make in my energy levels, sleep, and performance as an athlete.  If you want to improve the efficiency of your body for training and athletics, get this book. Trust me!
  7. Me. I know, I know. Who sends herself messages about being grateful for herself? Me, that’s who! Lately I have been doing a really good job of keeping myself focused on the things that I can control and I’ve been letting the other shit go. I managed to stay positive and keep life in perspective throughout  Cora’s would-be second birthday and also her 2nd Angelversary. I didn’t waste time on what ifs or what could have been, but focused on how much we’ve learned and grown because of her and how many people’s lives she has touched because of her brief life. That was a huge milestone for me as I have been beating myself up for two years with all of those would-have-been scenarios. I’ve also been doing my best to stay out of derby politics and gossip by walking away or just not inviting conversations about it. All of this feels good and strangely liberating!
  8. Strawberries and Cilantro. Two of my favorite things right now. My garden is teeming with both and I’ve invented a new salad with my garden goodness and these two key ingredients: One diced avacado, a handful of kale, spinach, cilantro and strawberries (from my garden), pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pecans and dried cranberries and dates…all topped with Frank’s Red Hot! Too delicious!

That’s all I have time for today, but here’s a pic that my youngest bro, Ian, took of me, Greg and Juno a couple of weeks ago!

Love our furry son!

Have a great day, my friends! I wish you all enough of whatever it is you need enough of!

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