WHO AM I?
That question has been the biggest question in my mind for the past couple of years, or so.
I am a photographer, a wife, a dreamer, a music lover, a believer, a cat addict.
But when I think of it, that doesn’t say a lot about me.
Those are just the headlines, but the descriptions are missing.
Yes, you see the kind of a photographer I am from the photos I post on our website.
Yes, by now you know I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Iceland and that I dream about living in there
in my own little cottage somewhere remote with a constant peace in my background. And maybe some sheep and horses. And a waterfall.
From time to time I link some of the music I love to the posts I make.
Since there’s photos of our past and current cats in the About Us section, you can guess that I love cats. Especially ours.
And by know you should know that even though I have my share of bad days,
I’m an eternal optimist who believes that this impossible path I’m on must be The One,
because there’s nothing else I want to do. There’s a flaming fire in me that cannot be put down.
But that’s that.
For the longest time I’ve been so afraid of writing down the words I want. Telling you about my thoughts, my dreams.
I’ve had my moments, but those moments have been hard to find.
Owning a business has made me afraid of voicing my opinions.
I’ve been writing, erasing.
Until about a week ago I finally realized that I don’t care anymore.
I don’t really care what people think of me.
When you own a business, there’s so many tutorials on how to be a great entrepreneur. People telling you what to do. What not to do.
There’s the huge question – who are you, what is your brand? Who is your ideal customer? What kind of weddings do you want to photograph?
Should you focus only on weddings, do you want to photograph something else as well?
I remember when starting my first photo blog I did it just for me. I wrote about things I wanted to tell about, posted the photos I wanted to.
I didn’t think. It was my sacred sanctuary, a way to express myself.
For many, many years it stayed like that. Until I started over thinking every single thing. I got the idea that being a business owner meant that you need to be someone else.
This stupid idea of a grownup person started to form in my mind. A person who’s all business.
It didn’t feel like I fit in.
I was in a bad place for years. I was surrounded by people who ate my self-confidence away.
I was told in every single way that being me wasn’t good enough. I let the way they saw me become the way I saw myself.
It felt like I needed to prove every single day that being me was enough and it still wasn’t.
I started to compare myself to others.
Oh, that photographer has that many weddings booked for next year. What am I doing wrong? Do I really suck that bad?
Why don’t people like our stuff? Are we really that boring? We must suck bad. Why aren’t I losing weight as fast as
others? There must be something wrong with me.
Like Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” It really, truly is.
I can’t believe I’ve let others determine how I see myself for so long. I can’t believe I gave so much power to other people!
But now I’ve finally realized that I’m AWESOME the way I am!
It’s OK if I don’t feel like I should be socializing all the time.
I’m a loner and that doesn’t make me any less of an awesome person.
I may be quiet. I cry easily. But THAT DOESN’T MAKE ME WEAK.
Before I tried to fit myself in to a mold that just didn’t fit me. It led to frustration, tears, anger and anxiety.
It led to people bossing me around. It led to me finally saying that this is enough. A big part of me taking a leap of faith was to finally put myself first.
I was tired of crying because I was stressed.
But still I wonder, how many times do you need to hit your head against the wall before you finally learn?
When I jumped into the unknown and became a full-time photographer, I tried to change myself.
Even though I urged myself to find my own way of doing things!
I know that I’m not the kind of a person who wakes up at five or six am. Why should I?
I know that I will never be working with normal schedules. Why should I?
I know I need peace and quiet more than average person.
I get anxious if there’s too much going on. I know I will never be able to go back to a ”normal” working environment.
And it’s OK!
I love that I’m able to wake up when I feel like waking up. I am able to take my time. Open the curtains, open a window.
Get myself some breakfast, grab my Kobo, make my way back to bed and eat and read
while being wrapped up inside warm blankets wearing my woolen socks from Iceland.
I make my way to my computer only if I really know I have something to do there.
There’s nothing worse for creativity than staring at your screen trying to come up with stuff to do.
I can go jogging outside instead. Nature inspires me so much more than being a computer zombie.
I have days dedicated to billing, to sending prints, ordering prints, making albums. I check out email once or twice per day.
If we don’t have shoots on weekends, those two days are dedicated to family time.
When I have days off, I really have days off.
I work to live, not live to work.
With every decision I make, I’m trying to love myself. Because loving myself makes me a better photographer and business owner.
I’m sure I will have many days ahead when I doubt myself and take a few steps backward. But that’s just the way it is.
When you’ve treated yourself badly for years, it’s hard to get things right with the first try.
Do yourself a favor too. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Be the awesome you, because there’s nobody else who can do that for you.
I love music more than life and can’t pick my favorite genre, ever. I’m a trance addict, a hipster, new age fanatic and a lover of Christmas songs.
I could watch a sleeping cat all day long.
I can read fantasy young adult novels 24/7. I refuse to read books in Finnish because I can’t get the feeling right.
Ordinary love stories are boring, but if you throw a vampire, werewolf, fairies and whatnot in there, I’m hooked. I even don’t judge glittery vampires!
I can’t watch nature documentaries without crying.
My newest addiction is Shark Tank. I love watching Gordon Ramsay yelling at restaurant and hotel owners or his own staff.
I love Moomins, German telenovela about the storm of love, geeks and their theories of the big bang, diaries of vampires, new girls, pretty little liars.
I love Walking Dead but I’m too afraid to watch it before reading the plot for the episodes.
I’m afraid there might be a tiny hoarder living somewhere deep inside me.
There’s something about owls that fascinate me.
I’m hooked on Icelandic folklore.
I’m this and so much more.
All these amazing songs are from my new favorite artist, Woodkid.