The truth about fear and weakness. | Portrait Photographer Cleveland TN

I am not a fan of small talk. I love open, honest conversation and in my opinion, I would rather just greet some one and move along if all you plan to talk about is the weather or some trivial anecdote that you repeat to every other person. I consider myself to be an extrovert, but I definitely have my times of introversion as well. Human communication has changed much over my life and I feel like the over saturation of connection has caused an adverse reaction to where most people would rather text than sit down and talk over a drink or cup of coffee. The value of real face to face conversation is greatly underestimated. I urge you (if you happen to read this) to make an effort to take your conversations deeper with others. Make an effort to learn more about those in your life. Your life will be richer for it.

Being an artist, I feel like the introversion that I experience in life comes from fear. Fear of judgement of my work, my skill, and the things that I value. It is so much easier to be in your own head, even though we tend to be critical of ourselves, because we live with our own criticisms. We learn to live with that voice and we learn how to deal with harsh self-criticism. We tell ourselves that “its okay to let ourselves down, that is life!” but we get frozen in fear when we add others into that bubble. What if we let someone else down? Because of that, we tend to keep our circles small, with people who feel the same way we do, to help support our weakness. But the fact is that fear can be an inhibitor or it can be a motivator. I have to tell myself regularly that its better to create and get out of my own bubble and share with others, even if it may backfire, because that is the only way I will grow as an artist, and more importantly, as a person. We often also experience fear related to sharing our work because we feel like we have yet to find our voice or our style as an artist. Recently, I started reading a great book that speaks directly to this mindset. The author, Austin Kleon says it best – “Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started. If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started “being creative,” well, I’d be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are. You’re ready. Start making stuff.”
Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Every successful artist or individual that I follow has carved their path doing what they love. They have become known and respected in their field because they listened to that voice in their head and let it push them. They focused on what made sense for who they are, they plunged themselves into that path and it rewarded them. There is value in recognizing that. We live in a very different time, and there are many ways to make a name for yourself, but only true reward is to spend the rest of your life doing what you love, and making a living doing so. Many popular photographers, artists, marketers, makers etc will try to sell you the secrets to success. They will try to sell you their 10 steps to being a rockstar in your industry, and most of that information comes down to the simple fact, doing what you love and being successful at it takes effort, and it does not come easy. Think about who you are, what you love in life, what makes you happy, and do that. Finding your passion in life is greatly rewarding, and living in that passion is the way we were created to live. Whatever you love, whether its art, photography, carpentry, accounting, helping others, or cleaning floors, make that passion your own, and you will begin to see life and work in a different perspective. Embrace your weaknesses. Learn as much as you can. Challenge yourself as much as possible and grow as much as you can. Weakness makes you human, and it helps you to connect with those around you, because whether we like to admit it or not, we all are weak. So own it, and make it yours.

This blog post is launching an ongoing series about my friends. Every so often I will be photographing and sharing some of my good friends with you all, so you can get to know those I surround myself with and so you can see how important it is to be yourself and to focus on what makes you happy in life.

Today I am sharing with you my good friend Taby Pearce. She is a filmmaker, photographer, painter and all around talented visual artist. She has made a name for herself among her peers and the regional film industry, which is difficult to do as a woman. Taby focuses on her craft, she is dedicated and honest, and that is where she finds her voice. Her films are incredibly introspective into her own personal struggles, and it is that self-awareness and honesty that makes her who she is as an artist. Some family you are born into, and some family you make as you go through life, and she is part of my family in that respect. We met a few years ago on a film set on which we were both working, and we connected quickly. She is like a sister and if you get the chance to see us interact on a regular basis, it probably wouldn’t take long to see that. Recently, she had a few of her short films premier at the Chattanooga Film Festival. She went and got a fancy dress for the red carpet, and what better way to break it in than to take it out into the woods? Take a look at these portraits that I made of her a few weeks ago and then take some time to look at her own work.
Here is her website – http://www.tabithapearce.net/ and here is her Vimeo channel – https://vimeo.com/user15510196


Keep an eye out for upcoming additions to this series. Thanks for tuning in.

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