Last weekend I attended i Heart Faces‘ photography conference for women.
It was great to spend a day talking with and learning from, other women (and a few men) deeply interested in photography.
As I’m in the process of establishing myself in the field, I greatly appreciated the discussions on marketing and business skills, the conversations with other female photographers (some aspiring, some long time veterans, some simply storing moments on their smartphones), the ability to test Tamron lenses, and the workshops (the commercial one was neat to observe and I got a few great shots of the engaged couple outdoors). Plus, it was lots of fun to visit the infamous Southfork Ranch in Dallas. However, what really stuck with me the most was the conclusion to Sue Bryce’s talk on her career, her craft, and her perspective on photography.
All wealth, all opportunity, all success, comes from gratitude. – Sue Byrce
Something seemingly fragile and vulnerable, but extremely powerful.
Sue’s sentiment really resonated with me.
Whether you thank your partner, your friends, your family, your boss, yourself, your doctors, your teachers, your mentors, a particular deity or religious guide, fate, karma, luck, an institution/organization, or something else entirely – I’ve found it often true that who we are, where we are, and what we’ll become, is often supported and influenced by forces/people/things, beyond ourselves.
It can be hard to say thank you, because by saying thank you, we’re also acknowledging that we couldn’t achieve something without another’s efforts. Or sometimes, at least in my case, I feel undeserving of the help/resources/support of another, and while it’s not as hard to appreciate them for their assistance, it’s hard to appreciate that I’m not any less of me/less human for acknowledging that I needed and benefited from their help.
Gratitude, like so many emotions, can be complex – and then…
sometimes it’s really, really simple.
Just two words:
So, thank you to everyone (including you, readers) who:
– listened to me
– loved me
– hugged me, held me, kissed me
– carried me
– helped me
– made me believe in myself
– made me feel when feeling was hard
– made me work when working was hard
– made me play when playing was hard
– made me communicate when communicating was hard
– held my hand while I waited
– taught me
– gave me tools or experience
– brought me closer to a goal or dream
– let me be me
and everything in between.
I can only hope that in this lifetime, I’m able to come close to reciprocating the enormous gifts you’ve given to me.