Tag Archives: Be yourself

An Open letter to the Brokenhearted

I’m sorry. Those are words that you need to hear, but you may not have heard them yet. So, I am sorry that you are hurting.

You are hurt and confused.  You thought this relationship was the end of the games, the confusion and the hurt. You’ve thought, “Given the pain I’ve been through, there can’t be more.” Yet here you are again, alone with the pieces of your fragmented heart, wondering how it could happen again. After all of the time that you spent rebuilding and learning to trust again, how are you sitting in your room, crying over someone?

It will be your first inclination to close off that wonderful heart of yours. You are thinking, “That’s it. I’m not doing this again.  I don’t ever want to hurt like this ever again.” Please don’t hide that light from the world.  Not everyone will speak lies.  Not everyone will betray you.  Not everyone will hurt you in your weakest moments.  But everyone DOES see that glittering light that shines from your soul, and they are drawn to your love and joy. Don’t let him/her steal that from you on top of everything else.

You are asking yourself, “How will I ever trust anyone again? How will I ever trust myself again?” You will.  Not today, and probably not tomorrow; but you will. How do I know? Because that’s what makes you you.  Your resilient heart, your enduring optimism, and the light that you see in every other person. You have your own beautifully unique way of reaching others. Only you can love people the way that you do. Don’t let anyone put out your light.

Don’t run away from those wonderful friends and family in your life; those people who see your worth and never capitalize on your love.  They will endure with you, encourage you, and speak truth to you. (Even when you don’t want to hear the truth).  They will listen with love and care for you in the ways that you need.

Do listen to your feelings.  Do feel. Do process with your closest people. Do trust again, it will be worth it. The right person will never let you feel like this. The right person will never let you question your worth. The right person will see you, all of your darkness and scarring, and they will still choose you.  The right person will make you feel like you are the only person in the world that they could possibly love. The right person will be the one who makes you feel alive again.

For now, let that person be you.  Love You with all that you have.  You are worth loving.  Your heart is worth protecting.  Your mind is worth knowing.  Your soul is worth celebrating.

You will wake up one morning and the ache will be a memory; you will breathe deeply into your soul and celebrate the new adventures you are about to embark on. When that day comes, I hope I can join you on that journey.

 

love ehjae

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Moment

Life is full of moments.

Moments that stand still

Moments that fly by, where you soar high

Moments when you can’t see and you can’t breathe

and you begin to wonder if you’ve ceased to be

       Anything

Worth loving

——-

NO

——–

We

need

to see

that this is not who we’re meant to be

That life is full of these moments

So that we know what it means to be free

A new year doesn’t mean no tears

Happy New Year.

I wish I could sit here and fill your hearts with inspiration, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.  I spent the New Year surrounded by people, yet feeling completely alone. In truth, I’m writing this post half out of desperation to escape the tears I’ve been crying in the darkness of my house, and partially to reach out to those of you who are in the same place as me.  You are not alone.

2014 has been a year full of milestones for me.  My business has been flourishing, doors have opened, and I’ve had recognition in ways I could never have imagined. The opportunities are endless.  However, the past year has also been full of heartache, depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

There have been days when the darkness suffocated me, and I hid my tears and anxiety under the covers of my bed.  I know people don’t understand because I can be laughing and having fun, but they don’t see the emptiness I can be feeling in the midst of my laughter.   While it’s true that I’m having fun in those moments, nothing can fill the skeleton that has overtaken my soul.

While Jesus remains the hope I cling to, somedays it just doesn’t feel like He is enough. My one saving grace has been expressing these emotions through my art and poetry.  I’ve also begun to speak to someone who has professional insight into the biology behind the darkness I live within. I highly recommend it.

While everyone else has been excitedly writing new resolutions and plans for their futures, I’m barely holding on while the thoughts are crashing in: another year may bring many more sleepless nights and this overwhelming sense of despair will come back to steal more of my joy.

My New Years resolution is nothing new at all. If anything it is a revolution against painted smiles and being shamed into silence.  I desire to be transparent with my emotions, find strength in my weaknesses, to speak truth into darkness and shed light onto desperately lonely places. So this is to my dear ones who have stumbled upon this blog, desperate to know they are not alone in this world, seeking a place to be heard:

You are not alone in your sadness.  You are not alone in your despair.  The darkness will NOT overcome you. Stay strong, beautiful ones. You are stronger than you know.

love ehjae

 

 

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm

http://depressionhurts.ca/

http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/understanding-mental-illness/depression/

http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/depression/Pages/default.aspx

3 Mistakes I’ve made as a Wedding Photographer

I’ve been a part-time photographer for 7 years now, and in the full-time biz for a year. In that short time, I’ve already made more mistakes than I care to count. In sharing a few of them with you, I hope that you can avoid them!

1. Not having a system.
I am a typical artist. Un-organized, scatterbrained, and a little bit forgetful. (where are my keys?) So often, my editing process would double and sometimes triple in time because I couldn’t remember which photos had been culled, or what I had promised to one client in our discussions. Charge the same amount for everyone, have a set rule for what each client receives, and for the love of your poor soul- get someone to help you figure out a system. Ex. Import photos AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME, have a backup system (I have an external harddrive, as well as online backup. https://www.backblaze.com/).

2. Not Knowing My Value
Do you believe your work holds value? Do you believe that you have something to offer that no one else does? You should. Because you do. You are the only version of you in existence.  Only you can see the world as you do.  Only you can inspire people’s souls as you do.  I have often allowed others to devalue me.  Not necessarily always by word, but also in deed.  When someone has tried to discredit my value by telling me that I am “too expensive” in the past, I have often tried to meet them by offering a discount. DO NOT DO THAT. Am I saying that you should never cut someone a deal? Absolutely not.  But I am saying that if someone devalues you from the start, they are not the person you want to work with. No $$ value is going to make them see your worth. In agreeing with them and lowering your cost, you are telling them that they are correct: “You aren’t worth what you are asking. ” Please, Please, PLEASE! Remember that this costs you more than money. Your life holds significant value, what time is spent on these clients is time never gotten back. It IS NEVER WORTH investing your time and heart and soul and sacrificing them for people who don’t love what you do.

(Need to hear more about your worth? Read a previous post about “Knowing Your Worth“)

3. Viewing Everyone as Competition
This ties into #2. Technically, where I live is an incredibly oversaturated photography market. We all do. With the growing accessibility to nice cameras, everyone and their dog has opened photography “businesses.” While it has been incredibly tempting to judge and hold resentment on those who drive the industry pricing downwards without offering much to the industry itself, I have learnt that this is a harmful mindset.  All of us begin somewhere.  Remember that every person has intrinsic value. All of us have been touched by art in some form or another to have picked up a camera. To view them as competition is to view them as an object, an obstacle: Something to crush or jump over. Instead, view your fellow photographers as companions: together you are inspiring the world with beauty. Someone inspired us to pursue our passions. We are all People first. Artists second. Businesses last.

I hope that you have found something in this list to guide you away from a few of the mistakes I’ve made. Any thing to add, or do you have any questions? I’d love to hear from you!

love ehjae

Stop Waiting.

As a wedding photographer, I encounter a lot of well-intentioned happy people in love, and several unhappily single people. As a result, a common thread surfaces. My singleness.

There are so many blog posts are articles written by married people about how important it is to wait and cherish your single years. As a single person reading those, they can be inspiring– but the underlying message STILL seems to be that single people should be happy being single so that they can be happy being married. I just wanted to write a “quick” note to all of my single friends.

What about being content in your singleness for that sake alone? Not every one gets married, and we need to start removing the perspective that marriage is the ultimate goal in life.  Yes.We’re made for relationships; we thrive together. Why is there this obsession with a romantic relationship being the ultimate goal? When did marriage become THE fulfilling relationship to pursue? I have so many deep and fulfilling friendships in my life. I would say that if I was to enter into a relationship, that those friendships would be the reason any romantic relationship could thrive or survive.

I’ve gotten to a place in my life and in my heart where God has captivated me so entirely that THIS relationship is the one that I want. I don’t want to pursue a romantic relationship unless I can see how it would be a part of what is already happening in my life in regards to the journey that I’m on with Jesus and I would want that guy to feel the same way. As a result of that, I am SO happy with loving myself, and getting to know myself more and more each day. I love pursuing growth and understanding in myself.   It’s almost like I’m dating me!

Oh fellow single friends, my hope and prayer for you is that you could discover this in your life.  Be so content, confident in who you are and happy with yourself that nothing can sway you. There is nothing more satisfying than to pursue life fully, embracing what is NOW and enjoying life alone. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-relationships. I have an open heart and open hands to what the future holds, but my life is already so rich in love and joy as a single woman.  Other people are much more dismayed about my marital status than I am.When I use the phrase “If I ever get married” a gasp can be heard, and I’m assured, “Don’t worry,  you’ll get married someday.” I’m not worried. If I end up married, I end up married. If I end up single all my days, I end up not married.. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “How are YOU single?” If I wanted to be in a relationship for the sake of having a relationship, I could. That’s not the point of life though.

IF I ever marry, I will be able to say without a doubt that the guy I end up with was someone so incredible, so perfect for me, that his life was so aligned with the direction I was headed that I was willing to give up my singleness for him.  Because, YES, being single IS THAT AWESOME.  Sure, that sounds pretty crazy. Maybe even selfish.  Isn’t it more selfish to sit around waiting for some unknown, desperately putting everything on hold, and not doing something purposeful with our lives? Let’s start being more protective of our hearts and our lives. Don’t forget that you ARE worth loving, you are loved.  I’m so tired of this whole “True Love Waits” idea. You’re not waiting. A true, perfect, selfless love has already come for you.

 

 

Photogenic

20140202_0639

As a photographer, I often hear words like Photogenic.

It’s a word we use so often in positive regards to others, “Wow, you’re so photogenic!” And use it almost always to enforce a negative connotation on ourselves. “I’m not a photogenic person at all.” It breaks my heart to hear people talk about themselves this way.

Do you know what the word Photogenic means?

At it’s latin roots:
Photo: Light        -genic: Produced by, given life by

So essentially, it means to “give life by light,” or as Jesh DeRox puts it, “Light coming through life.”

You have a life that’s worthy of being remembered.

As a photographer, and especially as a lover of people, it’s my heart’s passion and desire to capture that glimmer of genuine life shining through and to capture that essence of who you are.

There is no such thing as a photogenic person, just a person.

You’re unique. Your heart, your life, your passions; you shine with a light that will never be shone again by another other being. Let it show. It’s beautiful.

You embody “photogenic”, you are its definition.

Photography is completely dependent on light. Some of us work with natural lighting, some of us have learned how to manipulate it. How we get the lighting isn’t the point. The point is that we can’t get a photo without that light.

In the same way, I would say that my photos are nothing without your light. Are you willing to let it shine, show me your heart?

I will keep trying to share mine with the world.  I promise.

loveehjae