There is no doubt in my mind that Photography is a passion of mine. I am constantly looking around, observing my world, looking for 'photo ops' everywhere I go. I usually have my camera with me to ensure I capture any given moment. I bring it to avoid another missed opportunity like the one I'm still disappointed about, the 'turkey vultures that got away' moment. I was on my way home from work late one afternoon. My usual route at that time took me along the Farmington River. I loved that drive because, one, it's beautiful and, two, I almost always saw wildlife of one type or another along the way. On this day, however, as I approached one of the many apple trees growing next to the road, right on the river bank, I noticed several turkey vultures sitting in the branches. As I got closer I started counting and realized there were at least 10 of them sitting in that tree - they were so close I felt as if I could reach out the car window and touch them! I reached for my phone only to see that it was dead - NO! I decided to go home, grab my camera and come back, but they were gone. So disappointing! That's why now, most of the time, I have my camera in the car. I don't want to miss another amazing opportunity like that.
Life is full of opportunities. I take advantage of as many of them as I can. A job interview, a call for entries, a chance to display my photos. I might not be chosen to enter a show, I may not get the job, but I show up. Every, single, time. Not trying is, basically, accepting 'No' for an answer. I've 'tried' many things in the last few years, taken advantage of opportunities that I hoped might lead to something else. Most of them did not and that was disappointing. But, if I can look at each attempt as a chance to learn and grow, make an effort to see what I could learn from the experience, then it was worth it. It was not an opportunity missed. It was a chance taken.
I recently reaped the rewards of my 'take a chance' attitude. Last year I was a vendor at a local farmer's market. I hauled and set up my wares, sold a few note cards, made about $5 and hauled everything back home. I was disappointed but not really surprised. People were there for spinach, not 16x20 framed photos to hang in the bathroom. I decided not to do that again, but I carried the belief that I had, at the very least, planted a seed. Hopefully those who took my business card would book a Pet Photography session. I showed up! I tried. Last month my contact at that market got in touch and asked if I would like to participate in a 'Mother's Day pop-up' at the market the Saturday before Mother's Day, for FREE. I said I would be delighted, grateful for the opportunity. I created new note cards and new, smaller framed work, revamped my signage and showed up. The weather forecast was abysmal, I didn't have very high hopes, but I was there. Only one farm and one other vendor came and I did not sell one thing. But, I had made a commitment to be there, I was grateful for the opportunity and my son showed up to help me pack up my things. Definitely not a bad day! And that day reaped rewards as well.
A few weeks later my contact at the market messaged and asked, 'Would you like to vend at the market this Saturday to make up for the crummy weather last time? Free, of course.' My mama didn't raise no fool so I said 'YES!', of course! I did fairly well, sold quite a few note cards, got zillions of compliments on my framed work, several people were surprised to hear that, yes, these are all my photos, I took them all myself. People took postcards for Pet Photography and said they would be in touch, overall I had a lovely time! Did I make a fortune? No. Did anyone book a Pet Photo session? No. But I showed up. I put myself and my photography 'out there'. Will I do it again? Absolutely! When I show up I say 'Yes!' to life. When I put myself out there I say 'Yes!' to the Universe. And I always know I've planted a seed. A seed to success. Take that leap. Just show up. Who knows? Today could be 'that day'. It's a guaranteed 'No' if you just stay home. Get out there and say, 'Yes!' to life! I'm always glad I did.