Tri-Cities Senior Portrait Photographer | A letter to my seniors

To my 2013 High School Seniors:

Congratulations! You did it. You finished high school. Now you can get on with life and do what really matters to you.

Senior Portrait Photographer

And because it’s your lucky day, I have some advice to assist you in this self-discovery:

– Choose a job, career, trade that doesn’t feel like work

-Take risks

-Have humility

Work Schmirk

I truly believe that if given the chance to do something we love…something that involves our natural talents…we will be successful. And more importantly: we will be happy.

Take a moment to consider those around you who loathe going to work every day. That’s a lot of hours in a year that they dread getting up, only to start counting down the hours until they go home in the evening. Don’t let this be you!

Consider those who enjoy their work. It doesn’t have to be a “passion,” as is the term most often used with artsy-fartsy types (like myself). A love for what you do can simply mean you’re driven to make a discovery or be better at what you do. Sure, there will always be ups and downs like bureaucracy, grumpy co-workers, or crummy managers. But dealing with the downs is far easier to do when you feel giddy about something you accomplished — something that brings you pride. Find that gig that doesn’t feel like work.

Do something riskier than trying the dorm food

I challenge you to take one big risk while you’re in college. Don’t settle for anything because you’re scared. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to try new things or to see differently.

I didn’t take a risk – a real risk – until five years ago. I realize now that I missed many opportunities. Yes, I may have been a starving artist in my 20s, but I would have lived.  I would have met new people, visited new places, and discovered earlier what it is what I was meant to do with my life.

Remember that a risk doesn’t mean it has to be life-threatening. 🙂 It’s just doing something or going somewhere that makes your stomach do flips. A hint: if you find others who have similar interests and are also looking for challenges, these risks will seem more like adventures. You can be like Dora the Explorer.

Humility is a virtue

Get over yourself.

I don’t mean that you shouldn’t have confidence; I mean that now is the time to realize you don’t know everything. Ask questions, even if you look or feel like an ass. If you wait for someone else to ask the question, you’ve wasted valuable time.

It took a week-long workshop, many tears, and a great teacher for me to finally admit that I was lost. What I didn’t realize was that by not asking questions earlier, my teacher thought I didn’t care enough to learn…to become better at what I do. It was a heartbreaking, yet awesome discovery in humility. The really beautiful part of it all, though, is how humility means taking risks, and taking risks is what – ultimately – leads you to finding yourself and what makes your soul happy. Funny how that works, huh?

I honestly can’t wait to see what all of you do with your lives. Please keep in touch. Send me a postcard, or invite me to document your adventures. I’m so proud of you (already).