Destin 2K16

I've officially been home from Florida's shores for 7 days and I can't help but reminisce on this amazing vacation I accompanied Isaac's family to.

From waking up to the sound of grinding coffee or my dearest's cuddles, to evenings full of sunset bay adventures and stargazing by the waves, this was surely a week I will cherish forever. 

Although I didn't have my camera on me at all times, I did manage to capture a few mementos of our journey in the sunshine state. In the first of my many travels shared on my photo blog, here is a documentation of my time on Destin's shores with my beloved (who is featured in almost every photo. sorry I can't keep the camera off of him!!)

Strugglin'

With progressing into this new chapter of my life, one ridden with emotional difficulties, struggling families, college field of study changes, and launching a new business, I've found myself in this deep-set stage of crippling anxiety. And it's not until this point that I've realized just how real this emotional pain can be. When you lay in bed, and you can't stop shaking, and your head feels as if it's spinning, and you can feel your heart rate surpassing your breath, It's so easy to feel as if your whole world is collapsing. 

I'm going to be completely honest and say that although photography is the true base of my passion, starting up this business is exhausting me. But it's also teaching me more than I thought possible.  Although I may struggle, which I've learned from Jasmine Star is 10000% okay, the struggle is a part of the learning process. No one is instantly perfect at something and no all-star made it to the top without a few failures or panic attacks. Every pro misses a shot, every musician misses a note, and every top chef still burns themselves every once in a while. It's okay to admit your struggles, in fact that honesty and humility is what unites us as humans and as creatives.

If we can all learn to break down that "pride wall" we put on social media or we try so hard to keep together, we will grow to stop comparing one another. As the Pinterest quote says "don't compare your bloopers to someone else's highlight reel." And that's so easy for us as creatives to do! It is effortless for us to come across another artists instagram page or website or clientele and think "what am I doing wrong?" "why can't I get this right?" "wow, why isn't that me?" but that was never meant to be you. You were given your unique talent and outlook for such important reasons. I can't encourage you enough that without you, your world would truly not be the same. Don't fight the struggle and don't convince yourself no one else struggles because

confession: we ALL struggle. and we struggle hard.

personal confession: I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing in this field, I feel so uneducated and that I'm working with inadequate equipment, I feel like I have no idea what my photographic style is and I feel like I'm far from where I want to be.

but here's another confession:

that's okay.

that's normal.

you're supposed to struggle.

i'm not supposed to be a professional yet: photography is a day by day experience you continue to learn and grow in.

It's okay to be anxious and it's okay to doubt your work, but remember to remind yourself how far you've come from day 1.

It's okay to compare your work to others, but instead of feeling inferior, feel inspired to make photos like that or with those poses or those color schemes.

It's okay if you're not booking clients, but don't stop growing: use this down time for education, inspiration, shadowing, and discovering.

It's okay to be where you are. Admit that. Own up to your struggles and ROCK them. Share them. Laugh at them and dance in them. No one has it completely figured out, but hey, we are working on it. Let's work on it together and build a community where we aren't ashamed, but we are amazed at the support we find pouring into our souls.

p.s. I'm so lucky to have an amazing community of creatives, friends, and a very dear boyfriend that help keep me grounded. Although my Isaac Michael is consistently the subject of my every photo, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate my other cheerleaders and humble companions just as much.

But here's a shoutout to you bae: I wouldn't be where I am without you today. I am so thankful for your continuous outpouring of support and lack of judgement. I adore you more than I could ever express online.

 

Sarah & Michael

soft | gentle | devoted

I was so blessed to have the opportunity to awake Saturday morning before the sunrise, throw some clothes on, grab my camera and head to a misty and gentle country club where I met Sarah & Michael for their sunrise couple's session.

I'd been ecstatic about this session all week and could hardly contain my excitement on the drive there, but I think the true rush hit as soon as these two stepped in front of my lens. Sarah and Michael not only took my breathe away with their beauty, but also touched my heart with their gentle and dedicated love for each other.

As we crawled through fields of overgrown grass and under pine trees, we only grew more and more comfortable with each other. After wandering for some 20-30 minutes we found our way into a grassy patch where Sarah and Michael gladly cuddled up for my camera. 

I think Sarah and I were both equally surprised when Michael pulled out a letter Sarah had written him from the past semester of college. Seeing Michael's vulnerability and Sarah's encouragement in this moment had me at a true loss for words. As Michael relayed how this letter truly got him through his spring semester, Sarah and I both melted into gentle tears.

I am still starstruck from this session with these two. I'm so enthralled in how God crafts these magical moments I have the privilege of documenting. This session was truly the start of something new for Joy-Monét Photography, and I just can't help but share it with all of you :)