What is it you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?
Photo by Loc Boyle
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?”
I didn’t know these words by Mary Oliver twenty years ago but they were exactly how I felt when I made the decision to leave a business and life that wasn’t the right fit for me to go chase a dream – I became a photographer.
There have been millions upon millions of micro seconds of joy, standing on a beach at dawn and seeing the sky change colours, walking into a barber’s shop in Naples and ending up at the wedding of the guy in the chair, travelling to India on my own in search of images, people, and experiences. Taking a water taxi in Venice and almost forgetting to take a photo the beauty was so overwhelming, laughing with the cooks in the kitchen of the Ritz Hotel in Paris and treading water on the Amalfi Coast as kids jump off rocks and I try and capture it.
Many people told me when I became a photographer that I couldn’t make money. At the time, I didn’t care; I was so in love with taking photos, the joy it brought that I just kept doing what I loved and what brought me joy. I have held onto this philosophy throughout my career when I have slipped off-course and started doing things that where uncreative and exhausting, I would ask myself, ‘Where’s the joy?’
This led me to publishing 8 beautiful books with Penguin, 12 years of travel photography with some of the best magazines on the planet, and creating my own portrait business.
Then one day I started looking for my inner joy again, I asked myself the question I do on a regular basis, ‘What would I love to do or photograph?’ The answer was simple, I wanted to go to the beach and shoot for the pure pleasure and joy of photography and being in a place I loved.
Photo by Claire Lloyd
When I decided to create an online shop and put these images in it, the naysayers rose again, ‘You can’t make money selling photography or art online!!’ They actually annoyed me so much I decided to prove them wrong.
The first time my shop made the cash register sound of ‘ch-ching’, I jumped up and down and screamed around the house like a mad woman. I literally was the most excited girl on the planet.
Why, you ask? Because somebody just paid me to do the very thing I became a photographer for, to travel to a place I love and take photos. When I wrapped up that first print and sent it off, I hugged it to my heart, I thanked the kind soul who bought it for allowing me to turn my dream into a reality.
Since that first print, I have had sold out editions of my Young Girl in Bloom and my Italian Vacation series, my images have been sent to the four corners of our beautiful planet and I get beautiful photos and notes from people who hang my work in their home, their joy is my joy.
My third year in business I could have lived off my shop exclusively!!
Photo by Claire Lloyd
I have those ‘naysayers’ to thank for getting me annoyed, motivating me to leave no stone unturned to make it work and in the meantime, they liberated me and almost any creative who decides they want to sell their work online to live the life they want.
So, my lovelies, if you are tired of that old story that you can’t do what you love and make money, you have tried and can’t figure it out or don’t want to waste time, money and energy, come and join me at Walls of Love, my private coaching group on how to sell your photography and art online.
I will leave you with this beautiful quote by Mary Oliver:
“Tell me, what is you plan to do with this one wild and precious life?”
Wishing you a beautiful day.