If at First You Don't Succeed

Little known secret for creatives - it's absolutely okay not to succeed at stuff. Because, like, you kinda think you have to be good at everything. Or that it's a personal affront if you don't do a job well enough.  

Oh... That's just me? Well then. :) 

Someone told me once that i was "just a photographer". Which was a sort of spirit breaker, because I didn't like being labeled as just one thing, as if I couldn't be anything more. Hearing those words made me lose all joy and excitement on a project I'd been a part of and I found my desire to be more than a photographer sort of wane. 

I gave up on that project. I didn't feel I was good enough for it and I walked away. 

I don't regret that decision. Part of it was because it just wasn't the right fit. But with the advice of good friends, I was reminded that I was not "just a photographer" and that I had a lot more to offer. 

Here's all the things I've decided make me more than a photographer:

  • I figured out branding. No, I'm not on the first page of google, I don't have a million followers, but I have a knack for connecting with the right people and it's been game-changing for our business. And I love sharing the things I learn with my friends and fellow photographers, especially when I see it benefit them as well.
  • My business is financially stable and growing. Again, I'm not giving myself an award for best accountant, but running a business is hard and four years later, I've got minimal debt and i'm able to pay my taxes. And I get better every year.
  • I have happy clients. In four years, I don't think we've had any unhappy clients (that we know of) and many of them are still friends with us now. 
  • I can be myself. What you see is what you get. I write like I talk, I post exactly what I'm interested in and I'm not afraid to use hashtags in everyday conversation. It's me, and I like to think that few people walk in the door questioning who I am. 

This is most definitely not one of those posts in which i toot my own horn (or faux faults like, "my biggest flaw is that i care too much." ) 

This is just a genuine reminder to myself, to you, that you are never just what people tell you are. You are more than that. You are brilliant at things. If you're a good photographer, you put a lot of effort into learning every possible scenario and how to handle it, which means you're not "just" that, you're ALL that (said with a snap, of course). If someone doesn't think you're good enough to do something, or that you're too overenthusiastic and shouldn't quit your day job, prove them wrong. Don't get discouraged and quit like I did. Do it better than they would have ever expected from you. 


In in the spirit of kicking off my personal "not just a photographer" campaign, I'm excited to announce I am working on something new. A lot of photographers struggle with blogging, but for me it's my favorite part. So in a few weeks, I'll be releasing my #brandspankinawesome five part series outining my exact blogging process from conception ALLLLL the way to actual posting and sharing. It'll be a weekly post here on the blog, followed by newsletter tips and ending with a live Q+A via Periscope to answer questions and meet lots of people!

If you struggle with the blogging process and want to be notified when the whole shebang begins, sign up for our #brandspankinawesome newsletter in the box below. 

I hope you spend the rest of your day celebrating all the skill and prowess and magic and talent you built to become the amazing person you are.



Ariana Watts

Silver Feather Studios, Burlington, NC, 27217, United States