I started writing this letter to myself on August 5, 2015. I would write a few sentences, quit, and come back to it a few months later. Tonight, I sit here with tears welling up in my eyes as it's still so unbelievably true & it's finally done! So, I figured I'd finally share it...
You're just starting out. You have not any idea what you're doing and you're follow the "fake it till you make it" model and that's okay. You're hungry for success, you're eager to "make it", you want 25 weddings so frustratingly bad, and you want the world to see your images and listen to what you have to say.
Cool your jets.
2016 Caitlin is in the tail end of off season.. You quit the preschool in October (2015) and went full time. It was a super easy adjustment and it's as great as you thought it was going to be! Keep pushing, it'll be worth it! You'll also slowly start to realize that the things you do for your business mean the most to you. That blogging your work in general is just good for your soul.. Who cares if your parents & best friend are the only ones reading your words. It heals you.
You'll slowly start to get your flow. Slowly start to understand how 95% of weddings roll and you'll get a real good grip on figuring out your style (shooting and editing) and it'll become second nature to you. You'll grow confident in your work.. Now not saying that the bad days full of self doubt and tears aren't ever going to disappear fully but it'll come in waves. Usually when you stop shooting or have a break is when you'll start second guessing yourself. Let it out, cry it out, make yourself a cup a tea, curl up on the couch and allow yourself to mope because sometimes it's necessary... But pick yourself back up, open your portfolio and allow yourself to rejoice the work you do.
You have an alias and that alias will grow and develop. The second you stick a camera in front of your face you'll become the Caitlin you dream of being. The outgoing, a tad boisterous, semi funny & FUN individual that you love but keep true to yourself. Realize that Caitlin without the camera (the quiet, more introverted, independent) is just as important as the one with. It's okay to be yourself with or without one and it's good to keep the two separate.
You'll get better. I know how hard it is for your right now. To be a tad bit lost in all the editing jargon, different lenses, learning manual mode, establishing client relations, keeping organized, running a business.. It's hard.. Really hard.. But you'll get there. I promise. It comes with practice and it comes with the knowledge of trial and error.
Lastly, don't give up on yourself. You have enough passion and drive to figure it out and you will. You'll book your first Madison wedding in the summer of 2014 (for 2015) and the others will follow. You'll get there. I promise you.