I got this sweet message the other day on Facebook from a friend from high school. I couldn’t help but laugh reading it. In high school, she was a friend who we cheered together, were even movie “extras” together in a TV movie filmed at our HS, and were in a photography class together (this was before digital existed and we were learning all that old school darkroom stuff, ha!). It’s funny to think back to that class and how at the time, if someone had told me, “When your 10 year reunion rolls around, you’re going to be a wedding photographer,” I would have totally not believed it. While, yes, in high school, I liked photography, it was only one of the millions of creative things I liked, and it certainly didn’t define me. At the time, my heart was set on becoming an architect. And my plan was in 2 years, I would go to the University of Florida, major in architecture, go to grad school, become an architect designing luxury homes. That was “my” plan, but apparently God had different plans.
The other part I laughed at when reading her comment was my label, “Scarlett the photographer.”
‘Is that what I’m defined as to people?’ I thought. ‘Yes, I’m a photographer, but I’m also so much more.’
I mean, yes, from a branding perspective, it’s probably good that people define my husband and I as that, but there’s also so many other things I define myself as. I define myself as a designer. As a cupcake maker. As a wife. As a daughter. As a mom to a furry child. As a princess to a glorious Heavenly King.
Even recently, I had a talk with a girlfriend who also became a photographer recently, and ironically was in that same high school photography class, but after feeling like our lunches together were becoming mostly work related, I had to have a heart-to-heart with her to ask her, “Can we simply go back to being just girl friends, not photography friends?” With the start of the new year, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how, yes, I’m a photographer, but it’s not what defines me. Sometimes I just want to be known as Scarlett, not “Scarlett the photographer.” Maybe that’s why I’m more inspired to share blog entries that are from the heart, rather than share photography tips. There’s definitely a time and a place where I turn on “Scarlett the photographer” and Stephen and I are excited to share with you everything we know in our 2012 workshops, but here on the blog, I like to simply be…. Scarlett. If we were sitting across the table from each other sharing a soup and salad at Panera Bread, I would care less about what kind of camera you use, or for those non-photographers, what you do for a living. I would want to know what your dreams are, what your fears are, what inspires you, what makes you laugh, what your favorite TV show is, what music you listen to. I would simply want to know about…. you. And what makes you, you… Because to me, that’s so much more interesting than the name brand of gear you use, or the name brand on your jeans.
I know in social settings and meeting new people, the most obvious ice breaker is “So, what do you do?” It’s both the starting place, and the easy way out…. But, instead, I want you to leave me a comment and NOT tell me what you do.. I want you to tell me who you ARE…. Tell me, what 5 words define you? Then tell me, what is the story behind the most recent thing that made you laugh? Lastly, tell me, what’s your all time bible verse and why does it move your heart so much?
I can’t wait to hear from you.