It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to sit at my desk and indulge in writing for the blog but finally here I am doing something that I truly love. 2017 was a pretty great year for me and us as a family. It was the first year of living in my lovely new home, the year we got to travel to some amazing locations with work and the year my children settled into their new school. After a difficult divorce which took two years to happen, it felt like I was able to make a fresh beginning, make new friends and focus on the here and now whilst planning for the future.
2018 is shaping up to be a milestone year once again. Each year feels like positive progress. Deep down, a part of me, will I think, always feel a sense of sadness that my marriage ended. I don’t think any of us plan for an ‘unhappy ending’ when we’re standing at the alter, but I’ve also learned to be philosophical about things too. I’ve taken what I can from the experience and laid foundations for a new life that has turned out to be richer and more abundant than I ever could have imagined in those very early days, after life as I knew it, changed. I feel a lot of optimism this year for the future and as the puzzle pieces of my new life slowly fit together, I can finally see the bigger picture.
In the last year, I have been able to realise two of my dreams as a photographer. One was to start photographing destination weddings and the second was to start teaching as a photographer and what a baptism of fire those two experiences turned out to be! Last year I photographed weddings in New York and Portugal as well as doing pre-wedding shoots in Paris and Iceland with my partner and this year we had the honour of travelling to the annual WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) Expo in Las Vegas to teach as instructors….which was AMAZING. Another post on that to follow.
At the end of last year I also won Regional Fashion and Boudoir Photographer of the Year and Wedding Documentary Photographer of the Year through the MPA (Master Photographer Association) as well as being entered into the final for Wedding Classical Photographer of the Year and have also gained media exposure in the process for my work as a boudoir and beauty photographer, having launched a new business ‘Fabulous by Sharron Goodyear’ which focusses on photographing women.
I feel so lucky to have found my passion in life both through my photography and my writing and it made me think about how much more fulfilling life feels when you do something you truly love.
How I started my own passion.
It wasn’t until my thirties that I found something I felt truly passionate about. My twenties were great and I enjoyed a period of travelling, before settling into a life in London where I had a great social life and a lot of personal freedom. I was earning good money in sales and marketing but despite enjoying all the benefits that came with that, I lacked a sense of true fulfilment in my working life. It wasn’t until my very early thirties when we moved out of London that I discovered photography. I stumbled across it whilst looking for a photographer for my own wedding. I had been musing about the idea of starting a business that would fit around raising children, when I was hit with my ‘Eureka’ moment. From then on in, I never looked back. Discovering photography was like unlocking a door into a world I felt a complete connection with. It was a place to escape to and to enjoy. When I was able to turn it from a hobby into a paid career my enthusiasm for it only grew. It was like finding a light inside me and switching it on. It wasn’t a just a job to me, it was my passion.
Why it’s important to create a passion in life.
Passion is an energy that drives you forward in life. It’s what makes getting out of bed in the morning easier and what helps you escape from things when you need it to. It’s what stimulates the mind and makes you feel enthusiastic. It gives you purpose. Ultimately it is your ‘happy’ place. Having a passion you can share with someone else is even better. It’s an opportunity to meet like-minded people and to share ideas and encourage each other, a place to learn and grow. It’s the fire in the soul that fuels the excitement for what you do. Having a passion can drive you to accomplish your goals and inspire you take on new challenges. It’s for you. Passion isn’t about chasing money but if you feel passionate about something you are much more likely to be successful at it.
How do you ‘create’ your passion?
‘Follow your passion. Find your passion…’ This is something that is easy to say but what if you don’t have a clue what your passion is? Where do you even start? The interesting point on this is to realise that passion for something is not necessarily found, it is something that is ‘created’. When I embarked on the idea of becoming a photographer because I saw the work of other photographers, I had no idea it would become a life long passion. It was, at that stage, simply an enthusiastic idea. It was only over time that it evolved from an idea, to a reality, to a passion. There are likely many things in life that fuel us and get us excited but this is quite different from a having a passion. It’s more about opening ourselves up to new ideas, new possibilities and by a process of elimination working out what we enjoy. It’s possible for us to have a number of passions in life too so it’s important to not begin by searching for our ‘one true calling’ in life. We may of course find this but at the same time we shouldn’t limit ourselves to finding the one thing.
Start by writing down what you are interested in and then look at exploring these interests more fully. Focus on what you enjoy and then consider making it something to be great at. Don’t put yourself under pressure to find your passion, just start with an idea, run with it and see where it takes you. Age is no barrier either. Unless you are in ill health, you are never too old to learn something new.
Passion requires hard work.
Anyone who is committed to doing something they are passionate about it, will have, without doubt, dedicated a lot of time and a lot of hard work to what they do. Passion is a commitment. It’s about creating a skill set and honing those skills to become as good as you can at them. It is a journey that may take years but nobody just woke up ‘great’ at something. Yes you may be a natural singer or an athlete but it’s only by consistent practice do you unlock the door to your true potential. If the road you’re on leads you to a plateau, then it’s about deliberately looking at how you can take yourself to the next level. How you can expand your horizons to keep the fire alive. Passion requires you to challenge yourself. It is not always about fun but it is about reward. It is worth considering that if you try something and then put it down because it gets hard, then it is unlikely to ever become your passion. Once you’ve found something that holds your interest then go with it and put in the hours but at the same time remove yourself from the burden of trying to make it your passion because if it’s meant to be it will happen organically.
A final note.
If you’re not in a good place emotionally or you’re in a state of apathy, then trying to create a passion may seem like a pressure you can do without. In these situations, the journey begins from the inside. It’s about working on yourself and channelling your energy away from negativity and creating a new positive dialogue with yourself. When you’re in the clutches of depression or feeling apathetic about life then it can feel very hard to even consider having a passion. However, I have learned on my own journey, that the first step towards stepping out of the darkness, is by knowing that I wanted to. It’s not about feeling the pressure of creating an amazing happy life at this point but about getting to a place of neutrality. From there, you can start to find your way to fulfilment through opening the doors to things you enjoy.