I'm writing this in about an hour and maybe it'll be posted, maybe it won't. If you are reading this, then I felt it was good enough and wanted you all to read this.
Honestly, what you are about to read is something I write about a lot in my instagram captions or facebook posts. However, I felt the need to write in more detail about it all. This is all about me loving what I do, but more so about how I am 100% myself with everyone and honestly, I think that's why I get the love and support that I do.
I do not hide who I am. I am passionate. I am emotional. I care a lot. This is in every aspect of my life. I do not hide my emotions because then I wouldn't be myself and that is not how I want to live. If I have learned anything from heartbreak, life and growing up, in the past few years especially, it is that I should always be me. There is only one me and who I am is amazing. That is not me being cocky, that is me finally being confident in who I am. I have lacked a lot of confidence in my life and to gain this confidence has been an amazing feeling. It has made me love my job even more.
It is funny though because even with my lack of confidence I was never afraid of posting on social media and sharing my life. I was never afraid of doing that because what I was sharing was happy, positive and something I thought other people might want to know (or maybe not, but I still wanted to share).
I share so others know they are not alone. I share so that I can put a smile on others. I share because I am happy and want people to know why I am so happy. You never know who is looking at your posts. You never know who might need to see your post or who needs a smile! I like to make people smile. I think that's part of my life's purpose. Seriously. I just want people to be happy and smile!
I know that my photos do that. Especially for the parents. Moms and dads light up when they see photos of their kids. Whether their kid is the star or comes off the bench, I make to sure to capture them so that parents can have something to remember and look back on when their athletes are no longer kids. That's my favorite part of my job, doing this for the parents. I love making their days more than the kids. The connections I make with parents are the most rewarding and that is part of me being 100% myself.
For example, when I meet new parent and start to talk about what I do, i've had multiple parents tell me that my love for what I do just oozes out of me and in minutes you can tell that I'm passionate about it. I even had a parent email me the other day telling me that my photos of her son's football team and game showed how much love I have for what I do. Those are the messages I love more than anything. If my photos can show that without me saying something, then I truly am doing the right thing and I am truly being 100% myself in every aspect of my life.
One mom that i've made a closer connection with over the past year after shooting her son in hockey and baseball said something the other day that has sat with me and i'll always remember. She told me how my posts on instagram are genuine and when you read them, it sounds like i'm talking to you. I write how I talk. That's how much I am myself. I do not just post photos just to share them. I always have a purpose and I always have something to say.
However, because of social media, I have grown to love the kids more and more. they seriously make my day. They are the reason I wanted to quickly write this blog and share it so quickly in just an hour. I take photos at a bunch of different high schools for a ton of different teams. Each one is different and special in their own way. The one thing they all have in common is their appreciation and love for what I do. They get excited when they see me and can not wait to see the photos I have gotten. Some are more excited about photos I get of their teammates than their own. Some comment on every single one of my posts and like ones that have nothing to do with them. That warms my heart.
Now, I mean I think they know that the nicer they are, the more photos they get. However, I have also started to realize that they appreciate and notice my love for what I do. They see how much excitement I get when I am at their games and I get that shot of their goal or a moment they were so excited about. They see how much work I put into what I do and how much I truly love doing it for them. They also see that I'm totally honest with them.
I share a ton of my photos all the time. Every game gets a post. Sometimes I edit in black and white. Most of the time it has a very long caption. Each time these kids give me love. They love to see it and I love to do it. I do not have to hide who I am. I can write long captions. It doesn't matter! All that matters is that I'm me and that they are themselves and there is mutual respect. Which there is.
Yesterday I posted something I usually don't about how my photos would be up later than usual. I did not go into detail on why but stated I had been busy. Honestly, since Thursday afternoon, I had not stopped working and by Sunday afternoon, after shooting a soccer game in Jersey I needed to relax. My body needed to lay down and I did not want to look at a computer for a while. And I didn't. However, I didn't want to leave my athletes wondering where the photos were and that's why I posted the photo and message. The response was sweet and understanding. Then, today I got two separate messages. One was someone showing me that a friend had posted my photos on their snapchat praising them. The kid who messaged me told me he just wanted me to know how good i'm doing and to keep it up. That underlying message also came from the other kid who sent me a collage of all his favorite moments of the first half of the season and it was all my photos. He wanted to just say thanks and keep doing what i'm doing. These kids, without any push from me, parents or anyone, decided to message me and tell me i'm doing a great job and they appreciate it. They wanted me to know they see the hard work i'm putting into it.
I say this because they are high schoolers! Kids that some think aren't appreciative or the best at times. I am open with them, i'm 100% myself with all of them and this is what I get in return. I don't treat them like kids. I just treat them how I want to be treated. They know to treat me well and appreciate it because at any moment I could stop taking photos. They do not take it for granted (for the most part) and for that, i'm eternally grateful.
Basically, I wrote this rambling of words because I am oh so grateful. So grateful that my athletes see the work I put in. They see how much I love what I do. They see that it all means a lot and i'm doing my best every single day. If that wasn't true, then I wouldn't have had three baseball players pointing at me after taking their photo at the football game, saying they loved me and all these nice things. I know it's because I take photos of them and make them look good. That does not mean they have to compliment me every single that. trust me, i've had teams and players not act this way. These kids i'm working with, they are special. They make my life amazing. They are also my favorite part of every day. I look forward to every game and even practice if I don't have a game that day. Seriously, I love them so much and the love I feel back well its indescribable.
To end this, let me say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love. Thank you for allowing me to be myself 100% of the time. Thank you for being understanding. Thank you for being you and see you out there soon!