I remember when I first fell in love with wedding photography. I was working at an invitation studio and while browsing wedding blogs looking for inspiration, I found myself paying more attention to the beautiful photos of couples than the invitations. I had always loved taking photos, but that was the first time I ever dreamed of being the one to capture the beauty of a wedding day.
I remember my first DSLR camera and how scary, but exhilarating, that $400 tax-refund purchase was. I remember emailing photographers I admired asking if I could assist them. And hearing no… after no… after no.
I remember that crazy moment when I put it out there in the world that I was a photographer, and the judgement I felt for being new to the industry.
I remember at each milestone never feeling like I was “there.” The joy of reaching goals was always quelled by comparing myself to others.
I remember at some point realizing how intensely lonely this journey could be, constantly wondering whether I was “good enough” or whether anyone else shared those same feelings.
And then I remember meeting Natalie. A chance online encounter led to a friendship and the launch of a new business. And for the first time I didn’t feel like I was alone. When I wasn’t sure how to reply to a client email or I needed help meeting my first year booking goals, I had someone to turn to. We faced challenges together and over the years she was always there cheering me on. Our friendship has grown to the point where some days I talk to her more than I talk to Davey, but our shared love of photography is what gave “us” our start.
Natalie and I now compete at the same price point in the same market. It would be so easy for us to view each other as “the competition,” but instead we choose to be friends. Why? Because life is so much more full that way. C. S. Lewis once wrote, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which gives value to survival.” (The Four Loves) This once lonely journey feels a whole lot different knowing she’s by my side.
We’ve met so many other small business owners who’ve told us how alone they feel. And it breaks our hearts to know that they don’t have someone who understands the ups and downs of being a small business owner.
A few months ago, Natalie had the courage to share her feelings about overcoming comparison. Since then, a blog post has sparked a hashtag and an entire movement centered around lifting one another up. And that brings us to today. Today things change. Today creatives come together as allies, colleagues, and friends. It is our hope to cultivate a society of creative entrepreneurs who believe in community over competition and have a desire to lead with love. From this dream, #TuesdaysTogether was born. A meetup on the first Tuesday of every month where we gather together for coffee and conversation. A safe space for idea sharing and goal building. Separated by distance, but united by a hashtag and a shared desire for community. Because isn’t that what we all deserve? A safe place to belong, to thrive, and to share life with others.
We hope you’ll join us on May 5th and if you aren’t located in one of the twelve cities listed, we hope you’ll take charge and lead a TuesdaysTogether in your community.