a letter to myself 5 years ago

Dear 2011 Sami,

Repeat after me: “Believe you belong, and you will.”
The ultimate fake it until you make it.

It’s late Thursday evening and you are currently sitting in a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee thinking about the past 5 years full of blood, joy, sweat, curse words, growth, and friendships.

I know it may seems very, very scary going to college trying to obtain a degree in history but doing a complete 180 and really pursue your photography dream. But let me give you a spoiler alert, it’s soooooo worth all of the struggles, fears, and tears. Starting a business, not knowing who, what, or how to do anything was hard.

Saving up and scrapping pennies and buying that Canon Rebel camera body and kit lens (with a million accessories you never will use) for $549.95 from Walmart just before the birth of your first nephew, taking that first jump, and investing in your passion – that kinda bravery… I promise it pays off.

My advice. Practice. Get out of “automatic” mode. Read the camera manual. Practice (like I mean it). Learn how to actually work your camera. Do free shoots. Learn from your mistakes. Research and learn about business. Have patience and know that you will fail and you will not make everyone happy and you will probably cry more than you realize and want to give it up and just throw in the towel. But don’t.

Believe you belong, and you will.

2016 Sami

PS: Hug your family and friends for their unending support, advice, and encouragements. Be sure to thank them for always being models or willing to help paint your studio or buy you props. You got the jackpot when you got them.


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