J DANIELLE

Finding Freedom

J Danielle WehuntComment

Today, I posted a very honest moment of frustration on my personal Instagram. 

Can I be honest here? I hope so and I hope to receive some insight or advice from my peers. Before I moved to Salem, I thought I'd be able to just jump back into photography without a hitch. In Atlanta, I never had a problem selling myself or networking and always had work or someone willing to let me shoot them for the fun of it. Well, I couldn't have been further off in my expectations. I can't even give away free work here! No longer is my friendly demeanor and solid work enough to garner business. I have gone door to door to businesses and people in the street, I have been SEOing my site until my eyes are crossed. My attempts at networking have not been fruitful. I feel so much push back, ambivalence and indifference that it's almost palpable. I'm at a very real and serious point of frustration... To the level of wondering what the hell I'm even doing anymore. I'm no longer willing to shoot the things I don't enjoy shooting. I want to shoot commercial and leave family and weddings behind. The only thing keeping me going is the excitement of contributing to Stocksy (stock photography) and I still have a long way to go to meet the goals I want to reach there. I'm sharing all of this in hopes that someone has been through the same and possibly has some words of wisdom (I'll take encouragement too) to share with me. It's really hard to live in a place where you don't have close friends or family and survive when you're a social person by nature and your business depends on those connections. Sorry if this was too personal or mopey for anyone but sometimes you gotta be real with everyone. -#bummedinsalem

And, I received some absolutely wonderful advice from friends and peers. The most resounding advice was to basically be patient and keep my head in the game. I get that. I've been doing that. I've been keeping my blinders on. I've been trying to ignore the sadness I feel. You see, I LOVE taking pictures. When I found photography, I found what I was meant to do. I'm one of the lucky ones. I found what I'm supposed to be doing and I'm damn good at it. I crave photography. The thrill I get when I finish a shoot and am able to translate to you what I had swimming around in my head is a high I can't explain to anyone... and well, I haven't been able to shoot anything I've been WANTING to shoot lately due to things just not working out with every shoot I've tried to set up. I've been going for stock photography as much as I can, but I long to shoot beautiful images of people. All of this makes me feel stuck. I just want to be free to take pictures. That's all. Photography is my version of freedom. 

Since I'm also a singer and musician... this is the song that resonates in my heart right now. I'm gonna go sing it until everyone's sick of hearing it!