This past Wednesday I attended Making Brands Happen Webinar with Lara from Southern Weddings and Emily from Emily Ley Paper. They are both such amazing examples of women who have thriving businesses and still have their priorities straight. I truly can't say enough good things about them! (I mean seriously, have you read Southern Weddings?) I took away so many great things from our time together, but one thing stood out to me more than the rest - the importance of convictions. I'm going to make some changes in my life and business in 2013. I want to stay true to what I believe in and own it. I am building my life and my business on these values.
I believe in relationships. I don't want to show up on your wedding day as a stranger. I want to be there every step of the way as your friend. I believe that knowing you matters. I treasure the fact that you are letting me into such a monumental and intimate part of your lives. I want to tell your story. I want to know the little things you love so much about your fiancé. I want you to feel free to ask me anything. I want to swoon over your gorgeous wedding gown. I want to cry when you walk down the isle. Why? Because I think relationships are powerful. When we have that connection, I feel like my work skyrockets. Your story is the wind that powers the sails of my work. You inspire my creativity. Your relationship is worth celebrating in the most meaningful way possible. Marriage is such a beautiful covenant. Each love is unique and I want to capture that. How else can I do that unless I know you? This means I may take on less brides next year. I want to give you my best self, as well as my husband, family and friends. I believe you should have a real relationship, not just someone who shows up for one day. However, I am making a commitment that my relationship with you will not come before my time with my Savior, my husband, those I love and my church community. If that means I need to take on less to be more, then I'm ok with that.
I believe that what I do matters. I really do believe that. Everyday I wake up with a calling and a purpose. I have something that no one else can offer to the world. Sure, there are a billion other photographers out there, but none of them are Jennifer Blair. I believe I can make an impact on those I'm around. I believe I add value to this industry. I believe that I have a different take on photography...and it matters. I know have been given this great gift from the Lord. He has entrusted me with this and I want to go after His calling with everything I've got. I put my heart and soul into my work. These aren't just images, they're little pieces of me. Through what I do I strive, though very poorly, to pour out the love of Jesus. Living for Him counts for eternity, no matter what you are doing. This is what I am called to do. I do it for Him. Thus, it matters.
I believe in giving back. To whom much is given, much is required. I know I'm blessed to be a blessing. I'm not just in this for photography - I want to help people all over the world. I believe that the more I have, the more I can give away. I truly want to live by this in 2013. I've had a lot of people ask about mentoring sessions lately. Honestly, I don't feel qualified for this at all. Still, there have been so many people who have been so generous in sharing their wisdom with me. I want to give back as well. I'm more than happy to share whatever I know! In doing this, I can help others in the industry and use the (very minimal) proceeds to help those in need. I've heard the stories of those who have nothing, those who are in pain, those who are trapped by injustice. My heart is to find more ways to give back to them in the coming year. Christ gave up everything for me. How can I not do the same for others? I pray for much repentance and growth in this area. I have been far too selfish for far too long.
I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who believe in me. You'll never know how much you bless me. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness. I'm so excited to see what lies ahead for us all.