I thought it was time to tell you a little bit about last week. It will be in English for two reasons, one: I can simply express myself better in English being half English myself and secondly: because of my new international friends.
Last week I went to Italy, Florence, to attend the Fearless class about moments. Our teachers where Huy Nguyen and Tyler Wirken. (I could write a whole page just about them and the way they inspire, but that would simply take too long. So, go look them up: https://www.fearlessphotographers.com/photographers.cfm?photogID=5808&huy-nguyen and https://www.fearlessphotographers.com/photographers.cfm?photogID=32&tyler-wirken)
Ok, let me just start at the beginning.
I joined Fearless in June 2017, after being a wedding photographer for only 6 months, I felt brave and tried to apply. To be honest, I was totally in shock when I got approved. Because when you go to the Fearless site and look at those images, you are simply in awe.
A new goal was set, try to work my ass of to earn a Fearless award! I wanted to prove myself. Prove myself to myself, prove myself to my fellow photographers, to my former boss, to the kids that picked on me when I was young. Prove myself I was worthy.
I started learning, by looking at others, observing their work, working as a second shooter, making 16 hours wedding days for almost nothing, did destination weddings, crashed, burnt, stood up and continued. I shot all the things that are wedding required, the kiss, the rings, the bouquet. Heck I even did a styled shoot. Until I discovered: I really suck at that. I don’t do ‘Staged’ stuff, I shoot ‘Real’ stuff.
It took a while to discover who I am and what I do. And it all comes back to: People. That is when I started to know myself better, trusted myself and trusted my gut. I started shooting what I felt, not what I thought. Until one day I got that well desired Fearless award. Oh boy did I feel proud!
But I still thought I needed to prove myself and worked even harder. Until one day. After being away from home, away from my family, for so long. (because weddings take a lot of time away from home or up in my attic selecting and editing) One day I sat on my bed and looked at the mirror and I said to myself; “Kim, what if you prove to everyone you are worth it, what if you got award after award, become well known and got even more weddings. What if you spend all that time away from your loved ones and one day you die? Do you think awards and fame will be your memories? Or will your time with your children and friends and family matter?” That brought me back to earth. And from that moment on, I do not care about status, awards or fame at all.
So, when I sat on the train home after the workshop, I wrote it all down. What made us happy in the beginning, is photography. When it started to become a job, we started to look and listen to others. And we started our journey by working on ourselves. I believe you can choose the easy road, by looking at others and not taking responsibility for your own work, or you take the difficult road: question yourself. Ask why and confront yourself. We are scared of asking for help, but people, especially photographers are so willing to help.
I was totally overthinking my motivation, my mission and so on. But it is really simple. I want to help others, so they can help themselves, and become happy and better persons for their loved once. It’s that simple. I don’t need more reason.
Now, when I win awards, it’s a way of getting to know people. A way people will get to know me. The real me. And one day, I hope, I still don’t know how exactly, I am able to put all this in practice and make a difference in this world.
Karma? I suddenly received award after award… I know I am on the right path now, because it’s simply not about me…
(Below you will find some images from my trip to Italy, the group shot and take risks are by Brittany Diliberto)