I had a dear friend ask me one night over dinner; “if God asked you to give up your business, could you do it?” It threw me for a loop for a split second for 2 reasons. 1st-what would push one to ask that question, and 2nd–did I need to evaluate how I am portraying who I am as a person to others?
The conversation went much deeper with some powerful truths–Anna Pociask Photography does not identify who I am. Before we moved churches and met some amazing people, they did not know me as a photographer. When they first met me, my friend told me, she knew me as a child of God, a wonderful wife, a loving mother, warm, and beautiful…. these words stuck with me and only sparked something inside me that had already been stirring. (And before you start fast forwarding, no I am not quitting my business) But, I can say, I am “quitting” a lot of the race it seems most photographers are running to get to the top and make a name for themselves…. (butterflies in my stomach after writing that……. yep)
Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.” (Genesis 11:4 NLV) I want to focus on the bold and italics from this scripture, and how God has been working in my heart the past so many months. And these past couple of months I have had to really search my own heart on the intentions of why I should share my heart with the world, or anyone that comes across my blog. Because I will be honest–I have struggled with writing on my blog in hopes of reaching many people and hoping to encourage many that I may never meet; but there was always that extra tug where I wanted to build a big following of readers for my own “feel good reasons.” Sucks, but its the truth.
I think it is easy for us photographers or other businesses that can showcase our work on Facebook and our blogs to get wrapped up in how many “likes”, how many comments, how many followers we attain each day when we post something new. I am speaking to photographers, since this is where my business is, but you are welcome to fill in your occupation with these words I am about to unravel on.
I completely understand the saturation that has abounded with photographers, but, does it give us that much more a reason to believe we have to reach the levels some of the starting photographers have accomplished? Maybe I am way off on what I see and read in my newsfeeds, Instagram accounts, and blogs; but, the vibe I get is more photographers offering workshops, newsfeeds being flooded with their work all day long, and how to become like “that” photographer. Am I guilty of this; yes, why else would I start writing on such a topic if I couldn’t put myself in these same shoes?..
My biggest concern is that I see from the outside in a handful of true artists that really dig deep in their own soul and create images that strike you and put chills up your spine. A few that come to mind are; Elizabeth Messina, Jessica Drossin, Joy Prouty, and Skye Hardwick… Do we all want to be who God created us to be as an artist, or try and attain someone else’s vision and passion that came within them? Or lastly, are we all fighting to get to the top and make a name for ourselves?
What will it accomplish once we get enough pats on our back, a huge round of applause, and the biggest number of followers any photographer has ever attained? Well anywhere in history where one had “everything” there was only that much more of a tug to have a little bit more. Many days I have to remind myself of the truth from 2 Peter 1:3… “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
I am still very much passionate about putting my all into creating beautiful pictures for my clients, but, through trials in the past year of my life I can say I am learning a hard lesson on how to be content with the circumstances all around me. And I am striving to not put confidence in my flesh. ( Philippians 3:3) I can truly say with confidence in Christ if God or my husband asked me to stop my business, in faith, I would. Just as anything we come to love more than God is an idol. And I have been down that road before, and it is a very dark place I do not want to see ever again.
Just because top photographers and marketing books tell us what to do to get the best recognition with social media does not mean we have to be posting pics all day, asking questions to get interaction with clients/fans, keep up with all the hype of all the business of media that only sucks precious minutes of our life away…. The only thing we as Christians are called to is a life that is set apart from the world. We are called to “not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
I know it is so easy to get caught up in wanting to be somewhat famous with our business name, as our world pushes publicity and being famous on all the reality shows and well Hollywood… why put this unnecessary pressure on ourselves when we could be investing that energy into our families, our church, or the people God has placed in our life to love? Maybe I am only preaching to myself and need to remind myself of these things I mentioned, but I just wanted to encourage anyone that reads this there is no pressure to be consumed by social media everyday……every.minute.of.the.day. ….no pressure to have to be number one…..no pressure to feel the need to be the next top photographer everyone wants to see on Creative Live or WPPI….
Since taking this lie away of believing I needed to become “famous” with my business name, it has only freed me that much more, and I have had that much more time tickling, giggling, and wressling with my kids…… that much more couch time with my hubby in the evening, reading books that are filled with meat and not fluff…..and growing daily with my Lord and Savior. When we are called to do something that may seem really hard or not quite make sense, take ahold of the Lords hands and step out on faith….and feel the freedom your body and mind craves so bad…. you know what it is…that stirring inside that convicts you and grabs you at the throat, and makes you sick at the stomach….. be free today by walking in whatever obedience the lord is calling you to.
Be blessed today…..