JOURNAL ENTRY: The Importance of Being Unapologetically You
This a blog post is a little about blogging blog posts but mostly about ditching what you’re supposed to be and being 100% authentically and unapologetically YOU!
For me, my work is about finding genuine connections with my couples and being real. I may not be the photographer for everyone but I am the photographer for ‘my people’.
I recently went along to a seminar where Stephanie from By the Way Creative basically taught us how to ‘word’. She’s a very clever wordsmith who writes content for many, many lovely businesses. She talked about voice and how you convey who you are through the magic of the tinterwebs. I was inspired! I had been so busy trying to be what I thought I was supposed to be and saying what I thought people wanted to hear that I had completely forgetting to inject any of myself in there. My writing was tame and pretty and cute. But I am determined and a bit noisy and full of life and colour. Where was I?
The seminar really got me thinking. I realised that the fluff I’ve been writing, as lovely and sincere as it always is, isn’t exactly conveying ‘me’! And given that I harp on about how important it is to really get to know and like your photographer it occurred to me that perhaps I should be more ‘me’ online. I’ve been holding back, tempering my personality to so as not to offend anyone or put people off. When what I really should have been doing is fully unabashedly being me and appealing to my tribe.
So Now What? Who is ‘Me’? What am I like? How do others see me?
I’ve got a pretty strong sense of self and I’m totally comfortable in my own skin but like so many, had no real idea how I appeared in the eyes of others. It’s not something I often think about but I figured it’d be pretty useful here.
I set about writing a list. I had to get to the cranks turning in the old brain space and get the neurons firing in the vague hope that some quality adjectives might pop out the other end. They didn’t. All I came up with was noisy!
Ask a Friend
I’ve always liked the saying “what people think of me is none of my business”. But I was interested so I put it to the room! I’m currently writing to you from the Abbotstone where I come once a month to use the co-working space and basically chat with other wedding suppliers…and get no work done at all. It would be better renamed as a co-windbagging space. But seriously, the Abbotstone is run by Tasha at the Hampshire Wedding Club and is a great place to get to know other amazing Hampshire based suppliers, chew the cud, share ideas and pick up new pals.
So I went Fishing
It felt a bit like fishing for a compliment because people don’t “generally” throw shit at you when you ask, but it’s important so, I asked…”Guys! What three words would you use to describe me!?” “Knobend” Tasha laughed from across the Abbotstone! The room erupted into laughter. My response, with a smile “I’m not sure that gives my clients quite the right message though?”.
The list that followed took me aback a smidge…
And Passionate all came flinging back at me
I didn’t really think of myself as having an interesting enough personality for half of those things but I’ll take that and run…with a big smile on my face.
Writing’s easy! Write?
I’ve always loved writing but was never entirely sure where to start when blogging for my own website. It’s a vast stage of vulnerability. People see all of you and can make up their minds before they even get within a hundred miles of your actual person! So many wonderings…where do I begin? How will I come across? Will people get my sense of humour or be horribly offended? Writing has no tone or intonation, am I clever enough to make it work? Should I keep it fully professional or throw a bit of sweariness in there? I swear quite frequently in the real life.
I read somewhere recently that the most sweary people are also the most honest and trustworthy so I’m cool with that. I read somewhere else that people who are always late are the worlds true optimists! And forgetful people are the most intelligent. I’m not sure how reliable a source any of these were but they popped up on my Facebook so it must be true. I love that the internet can miraculously transform any flaw into a super wonderful personality trait! Anyway, I digress. I also digress…a lot. Big fan of a tangent, me.
I had started to find myself writing the same fluff about how much I loved my latest clients and how beautiful their wedding was. And all of this is 100% real and sincere (so much so that I receive an obligatory eye-roll from my other half every time I come back from an engagement session and gush about how much I love my new couple!). However, after ten blog posts, each a variation on the last, I felt I needed to shake things up a little. I came to the conclusion eventually that I should write just like I talk. But throw in the occasional bit of punctuation because, well, I’m ‘a talker’. I decided, as I do with most things, to just throw myself in. Start writing…and there I was. And here I am.
Get yourself out there…in all its unadulterated glory!
It makes sense that putting your whole self out there is exactly how you find your tribe. Those who are drawn to you in all your weird and wacky wonderful glory are the people with whom you were made to work. They are the ones with whom you will find the deepest connection so put yourself unapologetically ‘out there’ and great things will happen. It applies to all of us. It’s also why I love my couples so much! Because we connect on a level that’s deeper than ‘employer and employee’. I’m not just another wedding supplier. I’m their friend and confidant from start to finish. If they have questions or concerns, my door is always open. I’m there for them from start to finish so it’s vital that they know and feel that they can come to me with anything.
I’m the person that rocks up on the wedding day so it makes sense that ‘my voice’ (to use the industry term) conveys all that I am; scatty, goofy, crazy enthusiastic, sincere and open. I think I’m funnier than I actually am and I love those stupid animal videos on youtube. Sometimes I watch them in bed because I like to fall asleep laughing. I love My Favourite Murder podcast and I’m fully aware of how weird that is. I say yes to every invitation, especially if it’s something I’ve never done before. I laugh…at everything! So much so that my other half is convinced that he’s the funniest man in the world! I travel and adventure whenever I can and make the most of every day. I take the good from bad situations and see the best in others. I’m infuriatingly positive but sometimes I wake up grumpy for no reason at all. On those days, I just go outdoors…it doesn’t matter what I do because being outdoors is enough.
Let’s be Honest
That’s quite enough self indulgent drivel! I just wanted to put a little bit of (all of) me out there. I urge you all to be unapologetically you! It’s really quite liberating and actually draws all the right people to your side. So some people aren’t gonna love you? That’s fine. I’ll let you into a secret, they were never your people anyway.
This is me. Hi!