For the last 6 months, I have had this wonderful lady, Cara Nel, assist me with my newborn shoots. It was kind of an internship or mentoring agreement, in that she assisted me, but the off-set was that she would get to learn from me.
Well, today I want to honour that lady. She has given so much of herself over the last few months. The time that she has given to this period of learning, is an investment in herself, and in her business. That takes a huge sacrifice, and I believe is part of the difference between success and failure. It’s one of the biggest mistakes I see in wanna-be-entrepreneurs: they fail to INVEST in themselves. And part of investing in yourself comes out of a BELIEF in yourself. As my husband always tells me: “if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will”. And that’s been her willingness and sacrifice over the last few months, and I believe it has paid off for her.
But, and this has been the biggest surprise, it’s been so much more than just her learning. Over the last 6 months, Cara has been a huge blessing to me. Huge. She has encouraged me and challenged me. The irony in all of this, is that I have grown in the process of teaching her to grow. Isn’t there such an amazing lesson here to learn? We spend so much time honing in our own skills, and perhaps even investing in ourselves. But then, the second failure, is that we then HOLD onto that learning. We hog it, as if it were our own to begin with. We keep our secrets ours, we dare not tell lest others then become better than us. But what I have always known, but have now experienced first hand, is that when we extend out a hand, and help others, we in turn help ourselves.
There is nothing glorious or noteworthy about hanging onto our gifts and our talents. When we learn to share, and GIVE, the irony is that we gain so very much more.
Cara, thank you. Thank you for your patience, for your kindness and generosity (I am notorious for not drinking enough water, and example of her wonderful heart of generosity, but also her awareness, is that she bought me a LARGE water bottle that I can carry around with me lol). Thank you for your humility, for the laughs, for the friendship. I cannot say enough how much I am going to miss having you around at every shoot.
And while I will still have an assistant from 2016, it is with much sadness for me, that Cara spreads her wings, and has officially started her own photography business. I know there are great things in store for you. Remember to believe in yourself, to always learn, to use your gifts and talent for good, to always remain humble, to remember your roots, and to always keep your (fantastic) sense of humour.
And I got to photograph her special family as well- and here are some of those great shots.
These two kiddos. Love!
How many faces can Cayden pull in 30-seconds? (even more than this!)
When in dress. Must. Twirl.
And be sure to keep an eye out for Cara’s photography business, Starlight Photography.
Now go forth and conquer