what the funk

i’ve been in a funk. for a week.

i can admit to that, right? i’m human.

i’ve been really sick, still working and at one of those times where i dont think it’s humanly possible to get done what i have taken on. it comes every once in a while. i hate that voice when it shows up in my head. but i’d be lying if i said it never did.

then yesterday happened. a day that brought me back. a day that gave me perspective. a day that at the end of the day, i sat in the car and couldn’t stop the words from pouring out about how excited i am for the path I’m on, how blessed i am that my drive can so directly impact what i am able to achieve. oh how a day like this sparks that fire allows me to do what otherwise i’d see as impossible. a day that makes me thirsty.  what was it? an hour in to my full day mentor session with ash & james, it just clicked…being in the presence of the right client sets me on fire. inspires me in a flash. creates this chemistry that cannot be denied. takes what could be work and makes it the most fulfilling experience.

should this be hush hush? andria, you’re voicing that there is right clients and wrong clients out there? what are you doing? well there absolutely is and i wont deny it. and the thing is, this isn’t about being rude. this isn’t me judging another. as a photographer, when the fit is right I’m able to do my best work. my mind is in a different place. they allow me to grow. i am inspired by them. i would bend over backwards without even a thought. i’d stay working til 11pm every night for them and be up at 6am for them. they understand what i’m about and it means something to them. i’m not just dong this for pictures. i’m doing this, investing a whole lot because of the experience. because of what they give me and i can then give them. i can know in a few short minutes if the fit is right. it’s like dating: the most fulfilled relationships are right on both sides. she fulfills what he needs and he fulfills what she needs.

when love is right, you find yourself doing crazy things. doing long distance. doing things you would do for no one else, and doing it without a blink of an eye. because when it’s right, that’s easy to do.

and it’s the exact same with those that come in front of me. that choose me as a photographer. it goes both ways, i have to choose them. i have to say yes.

and that’s a hard thing to do. say no. i’ve actually very rarely done it before. but yesterday it clicked.

i have been incredibly blessed to have the problem of having too much work. i owe so much to those that come to me. and moving forward. looking at next year and how i want to structure it, i’ve made a committment to myself in the bathroom at a coffee shop yesterday:  only take on work that inspires me. i wont be a google search, i will be a sought after experience. i will be just what they’re looking for and vice versa. they will be seeking a certain something and that chemistry will be there. i would rather take on less work and be more fulfilled, i just would. ask anyone in love, when the fit is right…they knew. it was obvious. it is the same here, it is. i will only say yes when my gut knows it’s so.

it’s scary to say this. no one says it out loud, but i want to be real and i want to set myself up, that at the end of the day, i am more inspired, more on fire. part of me thinks, am i screwing myself by saying this? will people worry they aren’t the right fit? but i’m hoping it’s just the opposite. I’m hoping that right person sees this and knows that i’m their girl. that this is what they want their photographer to hold themselves to. that they see this and know, that’s what i want. 

i know this is gonna be hard, but its worth it in the end because when it’s right and the fit is there i want to shout it from the mountain tops. i am high as a kite. i am high on life. they feel it, i feel it. i cant explain it.  i’m saying this out loud. i am going to be committed to this. mark my word.

because, when it’s right, it’s so right and i cant be controlled. i never want to stop shooting. i am impacted by the people. good lord, what would the world be like if we were all committed to this. in our career, in love, in life. we’d be on fire. we’d be caught up in love, we’d be better people.

this life, this career. it’s a marriage and it has made me a better person.

i want to be known for my passion, my drive. my work is not my bread and butter, it is what beats my heart. i cant just say yes to everything…i have to be patient and honest, i want those i shoot to know i am investing everything i have into them. this is what i want to be committed to.

when the fit is right, it’s apparent. i dont want to be right for everyone. i want to be the right fit for a certain someone. that experience they’re looking for, that connection, that high. the bar is set, i’m holding out for it.

spencer and shannon, our lovely models above.

ash and james below. photographers from minnesota and two of the best girls.

so this is my rant and my rave and my way of keeping myself accountable. i’ve come out and said it. time to hold to it.

they just did a little write-up of their day with me. you can read it here to see what mentor sessions are all about.

by Andria

show hide 20 comments

Jenny Linquist 1. Right ON. Not every client is right for every photographer. It speaks volumes of your maturity in this biz to be able to come out and say that.

2. Spencer and Shannon are so precious.

3. Stoked we (almost) share the same last name, and so glad to have found your work recently. Lovely stuff, Andria.

Hannah Nicole AMENNN, girl. preach it.

abbey So true, and something I am hoping for in the future. So very badly. Love following your work so much! :)

gladys this is the best “my work is not my bread and butter, it is what beats my heart.” LOVE that. love this post. this is why i keep coming back to your blog. you’re so inspiring, andria!

anda “good lord, what would the world be like if we were all committed to this. in our career, in love, in life. we’d be on fire. we’d be caught up in love, we’d be better people.” exactly. your life is so going to change for the better for doing this. i know mine did. i always say i’d rather have to work part time in a coffee shop to make up for the extra money lost if i only shoot what i love and take clients i adore. so far so good … no need to work that coffee shop job :) and actually … once i started sticking to only what gave me purpose … the more that type of work poured in like a waterfall. i only hope the same for you and based on your passion through these words alone, all the best is coming to you. and quickly. xx.

Kate Girl… Preach it. I love the “BEST fits”. I agree with everything you said! I’m right there with you.

em I love this. I want to be better at choosing. It’s so hard to say NO. I am dying to figure out how to do this better … I think I just need to make more time during the consult process and find a way to communicate exactly what you’ve just said to every person that comes to me. Thanks for giving me some words to think about. xoxo.

Sarah I am so inspired by you. I look up to you. I strive to be as honest and true to my client and myself as you do. And I am bursting with excitement for when you come to Colorado to photog me and my Killian. I just want to jump up and down in my office thinking about it! Eek!

Kate Rant and rave and whirl about. More of the soul work that makes the heart beat faster and the shutter sing. I was talking to a friend only yesterday about this – about trying to dedicate yourself to the right fit with the right clients. It’s hard when you convince yourself to steer your business in a certain way because you fear leaving behind where the majority are. I’m learning that I’m not a majority type of girl. There’s no point me painfully trying to market to people that are not MY PEOPLE just because I think there are more of them. I’m trying hard to be done with marketing out of fear, with building a business that chases work. I want to do and shoot the work I love. I hope that makes it easier for my people to find me too.

Keira I can totally relate to “The Funk”! I feel like I have been stuck in one for a month. Bleh. Thanks so much for the encouragement!! I’m glad to hear you’re out of yours!!

Greg E Hey – nothing wrong with how you feel here. You are realizing that your style isn’t right for each client that approaches you, you’re recognizing that as you don’t click with them, that’s fine too. As a wedding photographer, there is much more to it than snapping photos, you have to be completely comfortable giving direction and dealing with all the personalities.
Separately, I find it quite amazing that you put all this out on your blog. Not everyone can do it or do it appropriately like you have.

Alex B. Glad you had fun together. I’m just lucky that Jamie is my inspiration.

Erin I love your work and love reading your posts. Kudos to you for being able to say no and knowing when it’s a good fit. Anticipating more beautiful pictures to come!

Kevin McBride Have been saying this same thing, but did not know the best way to say it, so I just shut it inside.

Kevin McBride The other comment was off: Have been saying this same thing, but did not know the best way to say it, so I just shut it inside.

Abigail Renola Tjaden magnetic are the shots you grab and take. such riches comes through in the story you chose to tell. Keep shining. it is worth it. Thanks for allowing your yes to be yes and your no to be no. When we do things that make us come alive, we really can I believe push further a deep love that holds everything together. Yay! You are the best!

Scott honestly is the best policy. no doubt about it that you get better images from the people you connect best with.

mae right on, girl. that passion, that drive is what sets you apart. keep chasing your heart. and keep sharing it; the worlds need more of you.

kristen marie girl. you are a feeler through and through. ENFP? Embrace that.

Jaime Patterson Thank you for writing this, thank you for sharing your heart!
From one photographer to another this has spoken to me in more ways than one! <3