We sat around the kitchen table with a stack of books separating us. I picked up some new titles, we shared a few quotes we liked, and even caught ourselves not applying the things we just learned from the book we both happened to be reading at the same time. Catching up with an old photographer friend made me think of how different our paths are and in fact not just ours, but everyone’s. In high school I saved up all my notes for my younger sisters from my Honors Physics class, one of my favorite and also one of the hardest. Obviously, I thought to myself, my sisters would go to the same high school down the road, have Mr. Hodges for a teacher, and voila, they would have helpful tips on how to make the most of the class and ace the tests. Little did I know that one of my sisters ended not being able to go to my high school and the next one in a row opted for homeschooling. I still have the notes if anyone wants them . Somewhere down the road while in college I learned that one’s path is absolutely unique, even when you are pursuing the same thing.
If I learned anything this year it would be exactly that. Even in the small photography world, with shooting the same Canon camera, and hey, even using the same lenses, our paths will be completely different. Success looks different for everyone and our goals will never look the same. Some get satisfaction from shooting a wedding on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (that’s awesome if you can handle that), while I like to have that one bride to whom I will offer the world. I shy away from too much social media, because there’s much more to life than just being a wedding photographer, while others thrive on comments and socializing with industry peers. Each path brings its own set of challenges and victories, but as long as you stay true to your path, live up to your definition of success, the world is yours! Stay true to self, Yuliya