I have hidden behind my art for years. I never showed my face. I never wanted anyone to know who I was. Why? Call me an introvert, I was comfortable hiding that way.
But I realized a few weeks ago* that something needed to change if I wanted to move forward - it was time to put my face on my brand, and take personal pride and ownership of my own work.
(*Note that I said a few weeks ago. Yes, weeks. As in … January 2016. Read the next few blog posts to understand why, but Jan 2016 was a flurry of activity and potential excitement for the year to come.)
My first decision was to look into a professional photo shoot. The photos I had for my Etsy About Page and for my website info were old, poor quality and didn't match with my current brand theme at all. In fact, my avatar was a photo taken by my husband at a wedding:
See? Totally doesn't match. Needs to be updated. Glad we agree. Moving on.
I called Ashley Wilbur. She's a photographer in my town who I met in a rather unplanned way. Back in November while I was wandering through a building full of shops owned by makers and creatives on a quiet morning, when most of the shops were closed, hers was open. We had a great chat about getting portraits of my little one done that weekend, but that didn't pan out. She stuck in my mind anyway.
I called her the first week of February out of the blue to ask her a series of questions that went something like this:
Me: Hi, I'm a local artist and I'm looking to have a professional photo shoot done.
Ashley: Oh fantastic! Where is your studio?
Me: My studio is in my house, but it's overrun by my toddler and chaos.
Ashley: I totally understand how that happens.
Me: Would it be possible for me to set up a workspace in your studio for a shoot to get some shots of me painting?
Ashley: That sounds great … details, terms, conditions, pricing.
Followed by me panicking. Was I making the right move? Was it too much too fast? Am I really that professional to need professional photos? Would I be an awful painter the day of the photo shoot? Do I make a ridiculous face when I paint?!
But then, as Lilla Rogers in her infinite wisdom pointed out just days after my shoot finished, I need to #bemorewoowoo and let the universe lead the way.
The next week, the universe made the decision for me: I found out that I had President's Day off, I found out that I had been featured in Huffington Post, and I contacted Ashley to see whether she was available the same day - she was. The universe decided I needed a photo shoot. We scheduled it. We made it happen. And it was amazing.
Here's one preview image that was pure perfection - Ashley captured the joy I feel when I'm painting, and even how I set up myself when I paint … and it turns out that I don't make a weird face or stick out my tongue when I paint (phew!). This is the new header for my About Page on my website here.
Photo credit: Ashley Wilbur
My next post will have more photos to see, which will be added to the site as I add more items and expand into offering my hand painted ornaments.
I can't wait to show you more!