I'm going about my fashion photography career very differently to most people. Most fashion photographers want to be in big cities, or if they don't, they aim to move to one. They tend to share nothing but their photography on their websites, and a lot of the content they write online is centred around photography.
And then there's me.
I live in a very small seaside town, 6h away from London. I don't aim to move there. I share a lot of content about photography, but I also write about lifestyle, about marketing, about social media, and many more topics. My Instagram page isn't just a sample of my portfolio, it's my life. My website looks vastly different to most fashion photographers.
I'm also trying to expand my income steams. I don't necessarily want my entire income to come from my art. I'm currently writing an e-book. I produce a podcast. I teach.
It can be so incredibly difficult to trust your gut, to not look at what everyone else is doing, see that what you're doing is so different, and not feel like you must be doing something wrong. The amount of self doubt that I feel about how I'm going about my career can be overwhelming at times.
But then I listen to my instinct. I drown out the self doubt. I stop looking at what other people are doing, and come back to myself. What is it that I want to do? What do I feel works? What am I drawn to?
And whenever I do that, the fear goes away.
I feel empowered. I feel determined. I feel strong.
I'm a huge believer that any information we need is at our reach. These days, there's nothing we can't learn, thanks to the internet! We're so lucky to live in an age where information is so freely available. Almost everything I know is stuff I've learnt either online, or in a book (which I will have heard about on a podcast/blog post/Instagram post). I believe that learning is key, and we should never stop educating ourselves - there's always something to learn!
However, it's so important to learn how to gage what information we need to take on, and what we need to leave behind. Recently, I've been given a lot of different information from a lot of different people. Everyone means well, and their advice is valid. Some of it has been essential, and some of it just doesn't sit right.
A few months ago, that might have crippled me. I'd have felt no choice but to do as I was told, and follow that advice.
Not anymore. I trust myself, I know what I need to take on, and what I don't.
There is no one way to do business, to grow a business, to grow a life. You've got to do what works best for you, and what feels right to you. The best way to overcome any fear of being different is to listen to your gut, and trust it.