Faith + Full Time Focus | Community Friendship and Encouragement

If you’ve been following me on social media, then you know that its been a busy year so far for AHP!!  Just a few days into 2016, I attended the Creative at Heart Birthday Bash at the Paisley and Jade Studio.  Two days later I traveled to DC with a fellow photographer for Justin + Mary’s The Event!!  Then Tuesday of this week I attended the Fredericksburg Tuesday’s Together meeting!!  

I could talk about how much fun the Birthday Bash was and how gorgeous the Paisley + Jade studio is.  I could go on for DAYS about the valuable information that I learned from The Event.  I could talk about the tears that I cried as such amazing woman in the industry showed their vulnerability and spoke to our hearts on stage in front of 200 people…  I could talk about how refreshing it was to share my business goals with so many other creatives at Tuesdays Together and to hear their goals, too…. but instead, let me tell you about some of the many thing I brought home in my own heart after the last few days.

Community.  Friendship.  Encouragement.

I have found that while so many of those in my “tribe” are supportive of community over competition and believe whole heartedly in it, there are many people in this industry that do not believe in what we stand for.  

Some people cant see past the competition aspect of our creative dreams and some people even look down upon this community that we are building…  

When I suddenly realized this, I let it bother me for a few days.. I really did.  I began second guessing this life of encouraging others and lifting each other up in this industry.  Everything I had believed in for so long was suddenly being questioned because of someone’s disbelief in the community aspect of our creative careers.  I wish I could say that this didnt last for long, but the truth is that I spent days feeling confused because everything I had known and grown to love about this community and community was suddenly the thing that I was most unsure about.  I let someone else perception cloud my own.

Then I attended these three events within days of each other.

And validation swept over me.

Three seperate days of being surrounded with friends in this industry, men + woman that are rocking it in the industry, people that are just starting out that are begging for guidance in an industry that is so new to them, and people that have honest hearts that genuinely want others to succeed in the industry and in life.  

After spending so much of my time around these people, I was reminded of why I spend so much time living out community over competition and why it is ok for me to encourage someone that is in the industry and could easily be viewed as my “competition”.  

I will not be ashamed for planning a Skype meeting with another photographer in the area that needs a listening ear.  I will not be ashamed of offering guidance to someone that is new to the industry.  I will not be ashamed for applauding another photographer that has booked twice as many weddings for the year as I have.  And I will not be ashamed to have so many people in the industry that I am happy to call friends.

Some people in the industry might not understand our way of life.  Some people may not agree with it at all…  Some people view #CommunityOverCompetition as silly and moronic and an overall detrimental business decision.

With that being said, I am here to say that I will not let their perception ruin my experience and neither should you!

The truth is, you don’t get very far by stepping on top of people and putting them down… you can dismiss people and make enemies while racing them to the top of your industry if you want..  but remember that you wont always be on top.

So what happens when you’re feeling down and need a helping hand?  What happens when you are feeling so low and are yearning for a friend in the industry that understands what you are going through?? 

Well, I can tell you that if you aren’t loving on your peers and celebrating with them in your success and their success, then you may not have anyone there to love on you when you need it most.

Now, if you got through that blog post, then you deserve a surprise and although I cant share too many of the details right now of the things happening #BehindTheScenesOfAHP, I will say that it is related to this post of encouraging others in the industry and it is going to be really amazing!!!!  Stay tuned because I hope to be sharing within two weeks!!!!  Two Weeks at the most, yall!!!  Ah, my happy heart just cant wait to share!!!!

Below are some iPhone photos from these events that I attended!!!

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