Sunday, 1 April 2012

A new beginning…

Photography by Chanique

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
[Is 43:19a]

Okay, here it is… The start of something new.
For those of you that are familiar with my blog, yes it would appear that it’s just a new-ish blog and a few extra pages of coding floating around on the net, but for me this is huge! Hopefully, this is the start of a new phase of my life – one where I kick fear on the ass and put myself out there, trusting that what I am is good enough. Does this sound like a bunch of random words that I’m throwing together? Let me explain…

For a while now it’s been my dream to get my photography “career” going. I say “career” because a) I don’t feel like I have the skills to be calling myself a photographer, b) I don’t feel like I can pursue a career in something I suck at (compared to the people I admire), and c) the word career makes it sound so corporate – which I am not, at all. So here I was with big dreams but no real intention of getting there. Sure I took photos, but I had no real structure/plan/goals in place to get where I wanted to be. And then 2012 rolled around and I decided that THIS would be the year that I took charge of my dreams and actively pursued them. And then January passed, and February passed, and March came around and all I was doing was “busy work” – stuff that makes me feel like I’m doing something but doesn’t really get me anywhere. I was working behind the scenes on pricing structures and finding my “look”, but not really doing anything that was putting myself out there. Then Mar 2nd arrived and we were off to the Jesus Culture conference in Jhb. During one of the praise and worship sessions I was talking to God and laying my heart before Him and telling Him how I really felt that He wanted to use my passion for people and photography to make a difference and that He just needed to help me get somewhere with my photography. After that He quite gently told me to stop talking and start doing what I knew needed to be done to get where I want to be. You see the only thing holding me back is one ugly word: fear. The fear of not being good enough, the fear of putting myself out there and having people reject me, the fear of blah blah blah. The truth is, it’s much easier staying in a place that’s familiar where you know you’re safe, rather than moving into a place where you’re very uncertain of what’s going to happen. I’ve been struggling with this since the beginning of the year. You’d think I could just say to myself, “Okay, well now you heard what God said, let’s get going” but the truth is that the more I struggled with it, the more I started asking God WHY I was struggling so much. He started revealing to me a bunch of insecurities I have – about not being good enough, about giving my best and still not being good enough, but the biggest thing was that I am scared of putting myself out there and having my dreams crushed. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that it happened once or twice during my childhood (sorry mom and dad). I don’t mean to blame my parents, but the fact is that parents do often inflict more damage than they realise. So in the end I said, “Well Lord that’s a pretty good point, what if I go in with all my dreams of taking beautiful photos some day and my dream gets crushed?” to which He replied, “I haven’t given you dreams to set you up for failure, I have given you dreams because I want to use you to touch people’s lives” [Side note: For those thinking right now that I have a few screws loose because I hear the Creator of the universe talking to me, such is my belief that He created us for relationship – especially relationship with Him – and communication is a normal part of a relationship. So yes, when I talk to God, I expect a response.] After Jesus Culture I was ready for a new season of my life. One where I would say goodbye to fear and insecurity and race stroll into the next phase of my “career” – from now on I’ll just call it my passion instead. So I sat down and started setting little goals – ones that I knew I could achieve and then from there I’d see where things went.
Step 1: Go through my images and choose those that I would like to include in my “portfolio” | Done
Step 2: Try to define my “brand” | Done (retro/vintage in case you were wondering)
Step 3: Work up a pricing structure | Done
Step 4: Create a new blog and update weekly | Partly done
Step 5: Create a FB page | Done

So here is. It’s the 1st of April and I’m putting myself out there.
Internet, meet Chanique – a 20something South African gal that would like to be a great photographer some day.
This is the start of my new journey.
A journey of trust, a journey of discovery and a journey of growth. I hope you enjoy walking it with me.