Hello 2017 - Please Make Us Think With Our Soul
For the last two years I have been focused only on working, on my business, on "getting there", on "making it happen", on reaching goals and deadlines I have set for myself. Focusing strongly on the out, not on the in. Work was everything.
I have spent days, weeks, figuring out how to book my perfect client, how to shoot more destination weddings, how to get my work published on the best wedding blogs, how to get my prices right and how to shoot in the most luxurious and stunning way. How to create beauty in places that weren't even close to pretty. Going crazy over unironed tablecloth, crying over sound system cables in my shot, going bananas because ceremony chairs weren't backlit... Beauty is as beauty does... I wanted everything to be perfect. All the time. Every time. Always.
And I kind of forgot why I was doing all of this for. I forgot about the meaning. I forgot about ME. Forgot what makes me happy, what's really important for me, what fills me up, what my soul needs...
The only thing making me happy was shooting film. When you shoot film you have to be totally in control. There is no preview. No going back. Everything has to be perfect. The light, settings, composition. Film cost money, you really don't want to waste it on pointless shots or overshooting. Film was extension of my personality. I shoot film for my soul. I shoot film for my heart. It's the only thing that expresses how I feel about my work. Shooting film meant raising my prices. Raising my prices rapidly eliminated 60% of my bookings. I literally lost half of my clients in the past year. Instead of panicking, I embraced it. After all this was exactly what I wanted and worked so hard towards, right? Right?!
On bad days I would freak out and get anxious. I would worry about not making enough money, about not having enough work to cover my living expenses and my business expenses. I wondered if I should lower my prices. If I should go back to digital and quit shooting film? Should I sacrifice pleasure for profit? My amazing fiancé and my closest friends said - don't worry. Wait. Give it time. Trust the universe. Let it go. It's all meant to be.
For a control freak who is an obsessive perfectionist just saying "let it go" was like not cleaning my house for a week, or going to a wedding without charged batteries or forgetting to pack my camera. HORROR! What does it mean to let go? How can one just sit and wait? What do you mean by trusting the universe?
I have invested too much sweat, money and tears in all the workshops, in doing research, buying film cameras, film rolls, finding the best film lab for me and rebranding my entire business just to go back to where I started. Film photography was the only thing I was genuinely excited about. Film made me feel alive again. I was excited to shoot. I was excited to be different. I was excited to create something new, something fresh. To introduce my clients to the new process of photographing. I felt happy... It really was just an extension of my personality.
2016 was the first summer, since I moved to Ibiza back in 2006, where I had weeks, yes weeks, off! Entire July and August off. First time ever I had time for myself and I had absolutely no idea what to do. What the hell should I do? What do I want to do? What do I love doing? What makes me happy? I haven't asked myself questions like that since Uni. And then an amazing thing happened.
I got an email from Karin & Matt at the Condé Nast Traveller, UK, asking if I would be up for shooting commissioned story on Canary Islands. Two weeks. All around the Canarias. Fully paid. And I could say yes! I was free to go! Diva Borrelli, my beautiful friend, decided to come with me and be my sexy assistant and my road trip buddy. She is a great driver, she is an amazing stylist and a great problem solver. As soon as we hopped on a plane to Tenerife I knew this is exactly where we both should be. It was meant to be. We both needed this so badly. Fresh start, freedom to be creative, fresh perspective, meeting inspirational people. Stepping out of our comfort zone.
Imagine. Two blondes on the road. We were wild. Free to style every location exactly how we wanted, free to sing our lungs out to The Bodyguard, thank you Whitney, driving around Lanzarote. Free to perv on hot surfer dudes on Famara beach, free to decorate each plate, pimp each room I have photographed. We did 5 things we are grateful for everyday. Diva made me do it daily. Believe it or not but it was hard as hell for the first few days. I couldn't even do 2 things I'm grateful for. I was too tangled in what I don't have or what I can't make happen to see what I actually have and what I already made real.
Week later I was doing 5 things I'm grateful for on the spot, randomly throughout the day, out loud, whenever I felt like it. We listened to meditations, we did visualisations, we ate well, we met some amazing, passionate people. We went from mean sea level to 3718 meter summit of Mount Teide, the highest point in Spain. We laughed at tipsy rich ladies at the Ritz Carlton, we cried on our way up the volcano. Diva danced around airports. I run to get the sunrise over Tenerife's auditorium. We drove like maniacs to get to Maspalomas dunes in Gran Canaria before the sun goes down. And it all felt so real. So pure. Genuine. I was working but my work was simply pouring out of my happy soul! I started to look inside of me for happiness, not out.
It became harder and harder for me to hold on to my obsessiveness. To control everything and everyone. I was tired of stressing about every detail. I simply surrendered myself to the universe. Whatever happens will happen anyway. And the most beautiful thing happened as soon as I said: I trust. I want to live. Suddenly new job prospects started to pour in. Gorgeous wedding clients saying: Hey, you shoot film! We love film! We love your work! Amazing commissioned work for travel magazines and publications started coming up.
Don't get me wrong, I still want everything to be beautiful, I want the perfect light, the perfect setting, gorgeous styling, stunning colour palette... I will still chase and push for that perfect aesthetics, but I won't get mad or sad if something isn't the way I want it to be. I think someone once said that once we accept our limits, we go beyond them!
I’m crazy excited for 2017! And you should be super excited too! I believe it will be the year of reinventing yourself, of reaching deep inside your soul. Year of taking responsibility for your life. Year of humanity, of caring, of feminine energy, compassion, flow and creativity.
Ask your soul what you’re really missing?
Ask your soul what is the universe trying to tell you?
What makes your soul sing?
Ask how to focus on the inside?
“ THINK WITH YOUR SOUL!" - Light Is The New Black by Rebecca Campbell
Thank you Diva Borrelli, you are my light!