What are your take aways from this year?
2020 provided me with a lot of insight and enlightenment. It’s been tough on me mentality, as it has been for so many, but it’s also provided magical moments; the kind where you recognize things have come full circle before the moment has even passed.
This small business of mine started out as a very strong passion, one I wasn’t sure I wanted to turn into a business, because I didn’t want to muddy the waters and potentially take any joy away from my craft. In the winter of 2016, that changed.
Before my move to Charlotte I use to be a lot more extroverted, daring, bold, and confident when it came to my work and also making connections. On December 12th, 2016, I messaged a couple I had met at a New Years Eve concert two years prior. Me and Austin were at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach to see Corey Smith. I had bought tickets as a surprise. Funny enough, it turns out he wasn’t as big of a fan as I thought.
While we were there, I fell in love with BJ Barnham on stage, and subsequently him and his lady as a precious couple. My memory is usually pretty foggy, but I remember the night like it was yesterday, because I realized that night I was very much in love. Apparently I very much remembered Rachael and BJ as well because I sent Rachel this IG message.
“Hi Rachel, I’ve been wanting to get in touch with you for a while. So excited to be finally reaching out! Almost two years ago now me and my bf got to meet you and BJ at the house of blues for New Years after he played. Love you two! Cutest couple ever.
I’m reaching out because I wanted to see if you’d by any chance be interested in some free pictures! Y’all are basically my ideal client. Fun, stylish, genuine, playful! I’m in the works of rebranding and it would be a dream to shoot y’all!
Please let me me know if you’d be interested or have any questions. Hope to hear from you soon!“
I’m showing you this as a testament to what giving yourself a chance could look like. I want you to know that this relationship has single handedly given me confidence, that I didn’t know I would need years later.
This interaction led to us taking some pretty magical anniversary photos (if I do say so myself), maternity photos, and family photos.
In 2018 we moved to Charlotte, NC. It was such a hard season in my life and it continued to be until things got easier in March 2020, right before things got weird again. Thanks 2020 pandemic. In the spring of 2020 I was able to leave a situation that was not serving me and depleting me of joy and creativity. This situation, however, had already stripped my confidence away.
As I was making sense of my new world, I started finding my way and things started making sense again. And that’s when I heard from BJ. He reached out for some band photos for American Aquarium, which would be taken at the grand Echo Mountain Recording Studio. Getting this type of validation was everything. It’s one thing to believe in your work, and it’s another when others believe in you too.
That being said, the most important thing I learned this year, is that believing in yourself is priceless. That’s the bottom line. Why? Because no on can take that away from you. And no one is going to do it for you. You have to do the heavy lifting. This is something that I wish I could have told 2019 and early 2020 me, which is why I feel compelled to share with you.
Whatever it is that you’re after, whatever it is that your heart desires, I hope you know you owe it to yourself to give yourself that chance. Take a risk on yourself, follow your heart and your passions. Dear friend, I hope this is your best year yet.