In my dream to heal with photography I’ve had many moments of getting burned out. When you’re trying to help others you often give your own energy to help shift someone’s mind. It’s a constant balancing act to stay open creatively and nourish your spirit to prevent burnout. It’s a struggle to find the soul food we need to keep creating. Yesterday I got the BIGGEST warmest hug of soul food from one of my photography idols.
During what feels like a lifetime ago, I was on bed rest and saw Tamara Lackey on Creative Live.
If you’re a long time reader of our blog, you know that I’ve had a challenging few years. A difficult pregnancy, Lyme disease, bed rest, divorce, and a cross country move to name a few. So anything that can distract me or inspire me is worth their weight in gold. Cue the look on my face as I watched Tamara on my computer.
I was transfixed. This was a sad time for me when soul food was hard to find. If ever there was a woman who inspired me to want to be a better photographer, mother and person – it’s her.
She has an energy that is contagious through a screen no less. Her ability to connect with children and capture their beautiful essence is unparalleled.
She PLAYS. She dances. She runs. She can read a child and instantly know what to do or say to make them comfortable. Everyone around her is laughing at her antics. You can’t resist smiling and laughing in her presence.
Beyond that she’s incredibly talented artistically and is technically able to do the most amazing things.
Earlier this year I was feeling lonely in my new home town. I’ve been following Tamara on Facebook for awhile and saw that she was hosting a workshop near me.
I signed up right away.
Fast forward to Monday. I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with life in general. Work, mommy stuff, dating, making friends. I didn’t realize the workshop was this week and missed my one on one appointment with her. I felt like such a flake.
The the first day of the workshop I managed to get my kid to school and myself to her studio. But I forgot my camera. Flake squared.
But she was incredibly kind and Sarah (Tamara’s awesome right hand woman) loaned me a camera for the model shoots.
And the first day of the workshop changed something in me. Maybe she just does this, creating a community. Every single woman in the workshop with me is a amazing. They’re all talented and smart and kind. Wherever we are in our business and artistic journey we have common ground. It’s amazing.
I’m not burnt out. I’m not dreading all the menial tasks of running a business. I’m excited to make changes that will make me a better artist and business woman.
I don’t know if Tamara realizes what a gift she is to the world. I’m getting ready for day two and my heart is full. I really had no idea that these three days would be soul food.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, ImanWoods[dot]com.
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