There’s something pretty pivotal that happens when you realize you’re on the back end of one of the biggest challenges of your life. I’ve been doing this job for a long time now and I’ve seen great seasons and hard ones but when I broke my leg two years ago in the middle of wedding season I quickly realized just how important the team we had built around me was and how blessed I was to have this community of people who care about me personally instead of just my work. I think there’s a tendency in this job for photographers to feel like what our clients care about is just the images. The reality is, they hire us. Not our cameras. They hire our eyes, our decisions, our personalities, our goals and ambitions, our short comings, and our humanity. It’s taken me years to be ok with showing that to my clients - heck even my friends. But the truth is, I’m not super human and when I couldn’t climb, jump, squat, or hardly walk for an entire wedding day I was challenged to see things in a new way. My work grew, there’s no question there - BUT also my appreciation for my team grew. My willingness to hear them out and pursue their dreams along side mine, my desire to see them happy in their personal and professional lives, and my honest desire to support them in the way they supported me through these trials was a big thing for me. I asked on facebook earlier what some of the biggest challenges people had faced at work was and the answers are powerful. I’ll attach a few screen shots at the bottom of this blog, but I would challenge you to think about something really clearly : if the things you used to describe yourself, your identity, your personality were challenged and you had a hard time recognizing yourself and your immediate future in the mirror - who would you lean on? Have you built a support system and community around you of people who love you, and who you love? Do you have a spouse, or friend, or partner who would mow the yard for you, pick up the kids, make sure that you’re getting the right amount of pain medicine and not relying on it? Do you have people who care about you, or just what you provide? Facebook memories reminded me today of the pain this knee caused me. The way I had to walk down hills. The fear I had that I would never feel like I had before. Fast forward two years and after hours and hours of work with Dustin Williams (shameless plug to Precision Fitness) and I’m starting to feel like myself again but I’m not back to where I was work wise, I’m far beyond it. Not due to the work I’ve done, but due to the way my crew of guys and my family and my wife have rallied around me to say “It’s not about the work, it’s about ME”. I’d challenge you if you’ve read this far to do a few things : 1. Interact. (I’m not fishing for comments here) BUT seriously. Comment, interact. Find places to engage with people and add value to their lives. 2. Build community. There’s a need in everybody’s life for people who love them and that doesn’t start, end, or really even exist on social media. You have a real life, live it. and 3. Prepare for the next thing what will go wrong and challenge yourself mentally to face it with grace, faith, and strength.