Why I’m breaking up with photography

Stocksy

It’s been so long since I wrote a personal blog post, it almost feels foreign to me to open up to you in a way that’s this personal. But I’m ready for this.

Here’s the truth: I have felt so lost over the past year.

When I graduated from university, all I wanted to do was become a professional photographer. And as my dreams finally started to take shape in reality, I found myself slowly but surely losing interest.

The one thing that had the power to move my soul in ways that still remain completely indescribable, the one thing that showed me the real meaning of passion, the one thing that taught me that it is possible to do what you once thought was impossible fell out of my life almost as soon as it came in.

And what do you do when you fall out of love with something you used to feel so connected to, defined by, and passionate about?

I’m the type of person who likes to think things through, a million times if I have to. I like to micromanage dangerously to a fault. I’m a habitual to-do list maker, a goal-setting addict. I wanted to figure it out. Where did my passion for photography go, and most importantly, how could I get it back?

I read books on creativity. I took time off. I forced it. I didn’t force it. I talked about it. I asked other creatives for advice. I tried to get back to my inspiration. I tried to revive my passion but it seemed the more I searched for it, the quicker it fell through my hands, and after everything was said and done, I was left … with nothing.

I could not look at my camera without feeling resentment. I couldn’t even pick it up to take a picture.

Instead of the passionate photographer I used to be who was never seen without her camera, I became the photographer who ironically was never seen with her camera.

And I know I’m sounding dramatic. But for anyone who has ever experienced a similar case of disappearing passion you’ll know that it’s no less painful and no less dramatic than a devastating breakup.

I expected a life-long, passionate photography career … and suddenly the passion was gone. Poof. Just like that.

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And after months and months AND MONTHS of trying to revive my desire to take a picture, it hit me like a brick wall.

A quiet voice in the back of my mind, getting louder and louder as time went on was saying ..

“You aren’t meant to have it back. Look – you want it back so badly, and it’s not here. Obviously, it’s not meant to be. It taught you what you needed to know. Now move on with yo’ bad self.”

 

So I did.

I moved on.

From photography.

From my camera.

From what we once had together.

Because it’s gone.

And it no longer exists…

 

So I started to just be and do whatever I wanted to be and do. I stopped feeling guilty about the lack of photo shoots. I started reading more about topics that truly interested me instead of wasting time reading up on how to revive my passion.

I focused on the new things I could feel passionate about creating instead of on the things I no longer felt passionate about creating.

The irony in all of this?

When I first started out in photography I always felt like I should have been out in the world getting a “real job”. It was exhilarating to follow my passion by becoming a professional photographer, yet totally heart-wrenching as each step of the way was done so in anticipation as to whether or not it would actually work.

 The irony is that I’ve been trying to hold onto photography so much, feeling that it’s what I “should” be doing, that I’ve lost that sense of exhilarating, heart-wrenching passion that I once had when I was chasing my dream of being a professional photographer. 

And that’s what I crave: the exhilarating, heart-wrenching passion.

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I’ve finally realized that my goal was never to be a photographer, it was simply to follow my passion and be able to make a living from it at the same time. Because that’s where true happiness lies.

So where do I find my current exhilarating, heart-wrenching passion?

In business. 

I mean, is it that hard to tell? If you look back at all of my Chatty Tuesday videos you’ll see that slowly but surely they started to move away from photography and started leaning deep into business. I’ve covered how to use Pinterest for business, how to make your business buzzworthy, 8 common online mistakes you should avoid, how to keep your customers happy, 7 signs your sales page sucks. You get the picture.

As my passion for photography died down, my passion for marketing and branding sky-rocketed.

Here’s the thing: I know what it’s like when you’re just starting out with your amazing idea to be a professional photographer, or to start your own jewelry line, or to be the go-to graphic designer. 

I remember waking up in the mornings wondering if starting my own business was the right thing to do or not. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever been there?

That was the heaviest part for me. Because wouldn’t it be sad to waste all of that time building a photography business if it ended up being a total failure? Wouldn’t it be the most embarrassing thing to fail so triumphantly?

When I first started my business I was making no money, I had no prior experience, and I had so many moments of immense confusion, my brain drowning in “what if’s”, tears and tears and tears of worry and doubt. It sucked.

After being an artist who struggled to make enough money to move out of her parents house, to being an artist who’s been able to not only move out on her own, but make enough money to live comfortably, travel, and splurge from time to time, I know what it takes to move your business from a level of struggle to a level you can be proud of. 

And I want to help more people reach success in their businesses. 

Because when your business is a success, when it’s making you enough money to pay ALL of your bills? It’s the most amazing feeling of freedom, and every single person with a dream who’s passionate about making it a reality? They deserve to win.

I’ve realized that my current passion lies in sharing the knowledge that I wish I had when I first started out as a photographer.

It’s all about helping beautiful creative souls learn the ins and the outs of marketing and promoting their businesses online so that they can create an environment for themselves that allows them to thrive.

So I’m here. I’m ready to step back into my greatness. I’m ready to shine and I’m ready to put an end to feeling so lost. I’m not defined by photography. I’m defined by passion, and as long as I follow my passion, I’ll always be happy.

So, my friend, watch this space. I have some awesome things in store that I know you’re going to love. I can’t wait to start down this new journey with you!

Love always,
Alex
xoxo

P.S. Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

203 thoughts on “Why I’m breaking up with photography”

  1. Although, I’m sad to see that you’ve broken up with photography, I can’t wait to see what you have in store! I’ve learned so much from you in the past year after I found my passion and you have been extremely helpful with answering my questions about photography and business. I’m excited to see where this new journey takes you and I know that you’ll succeed!

  2. I’m so happy for you. I hope you find what you looking for! Do you think about helping poeople to grow their business and they will pay you for that?

    1. Klaudia, thank you so much for your comment. I am so happy and excited for this new chapter to unfold, and look forward to turning the gears of my business away from photography and towards helping them with their businesses. I can’t wait! 🙂

  3. I can certainly relate, Alex. I followed a path to become a graphic designer, and that’s what I’ve done, but a lot of the thrill is gone. I’ve found my passion through other outlets, and the graphic design has pretty much just turned into a “job.” I don’t know if it’s a phase for me, or something I’ll never love like I once did, but I’ve learned to be content either way. I have new found loves for yoga, cooking, cycling, and I’m teaching myself to play the guitar. I also have a freelance side business that allows me to do product and interior photography, and believe it or not, I get really excited about photographing furniture! I do believe I’ll always have a creative outlet, but I have a feeling that outlet will be constantly evolving. Congratulations to you on following your heart, and I wish you the best! I look forward to seeing what’s next. 🙂

    1. Katie, I feel your pain and struggle with feeling as though some of the passion for what you once loved has disappeared. I LOVE that you’ve decided to make it okay with you, and that you’ve immersed yourself in other hobbies and new-found loves. It makes me feel so much more normal to know that I’m not the only one whose creative outlets are evolving. I love your comment, thank you so much! Big hugs xoxo

  4. Elizabeth Pellette

    I have no business head.. I have had a passion for photography since I was a kid.. that has not ever faded or waivered.. its been a love affair since I was 13 and I am 47 now.. but buisness.. I am clueless.. the fact that I am trying to run one.. with no real business skill or knowledge is painful for me .. I need help.. I have no clue how to get more work without word of mouth, I have no real money to spend on logos and branding and all that stuff… so HELP.. what do I do? how do I become a better business woman? how do I get more work without spending a ton of money on advertising and logo’s and brands and so on.. help help help..

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Firstly, I think it’s awesome that you have had an unwavering love affair with photography. That makes me so excited for you 🙂 Secondly, you are going through what I’ve seen SO MANY photographers go through! They have a strong love and passion for the art form, but really struggle when it comes to the business side of things and THAT’S what I want to help out with as much as I can! I’ve got a lot of great ideas for the future of this business that will be coming into effect VERY soon, so keep an eye out! I’m here to help. Big hugs xoxo

  5. Hey Alex,
    It is always nice to read a personal post from you. Actually from anyone you look up to. And for me one of these people is def you !
    When I first started trying to become a photographer I ended up in your blog and everything slowly started to make sense and I had a path to walk on. I am so thankful for that. It is a little sad seeing you move on from photography but like you said the change has been going on for a while and I believe you are absolutely right on moving on to what seems right to you now !
    And if you stop to think about it maybe photography was just the stepping stone to do what is your true calling !!
    I hope that your new adventurous will be something to do with coaching ! =)
    I wish you well ! Sending you positive vibes ! =))
    xoxo

    1. Hi Debora!

      Thank you so much for your comment, I’m really happy that you enjoyed this post so much. And I totally agree with you – photography was the best stepping stone for me because it’s led me to where I’m standing today. I’m so grateful!

      And as to what the future holds for the business offerings? Keep an eye out over the next month and you’ll see 🙂

      Big hugs
      xoxo

  6. Amanda Kraft McGary

    Alex, as a fellow photographer who is transitioning out of her business I can totally relate. It took me awhile to come to terms with my decision and I still struggle with it. I let my business consume and swallow me whole until I was on the floor of my closet with crocodile tears rolling down my cheeks. It was in that moment that everything changed and I had to become a priority again. Not only for me, but my marriage and friendships.

    I discovered that there was more that I wanted to experience and explore and my photography business didn’t have to define me. By putting myself on the top of my to do list, I discovered that my passion is now in health + wellness coaching. A completely different field than that of photography, but it doesn’t mean that the two can’t overlap. We just get to be more selective in the projects that we take on if we chose to and our portfolio doesn’t expire just because we are no longer actively shooting, same with our skills.

    Congratulations on being bold and sharing your journey!

    1. Amanda, Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, it’s really nice to know that I’m not alone in these feelings. I love what you said about putting yourself first, and I couldn’t agree with you more when you said that your photography skills will help you in your future projects. I feel the same way! 🙂 BIG hugs! xoxo

  7. Alex, I believe that I’m in the middle of what you described. The business isn’t taking off like I want it to and I have so many doubts that I just need to step away and clear my thoughts. I know I have a passion helping people establish and maintain healthy relationships and being a wedding photographer allows me to connect to people. I feel lost right now

    1. Dee,

      Sometimes time away is what we really need the most. I hope you find what it is that you are truly passionate about, and more than anything I hope you find a way to turn it into your life’s work. Feel lost, and relish in it, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just means you are moving towards discovery!

      Big hugs! xoxo

  8. Finding who you are and what you’re meant to do is never bad.. It’s growth. Very few people welcome change with open arms but it’s a great thing sometimes, we can’t possibly know what we’re meant for until we try it.. don’t feel guilty or be sad to move on and change. I wish you well in whatever you find yourself doing, look forward to future emails. 🙂

    1. Jessica, you are so right! Change brings so much positivity into our lives, we should definitely welcome it with open arms and feel good about moving forward into new and beautiful opportunities rather than looking back and missing what we once had. Thank you for such a great comment, I love it!

  9. It’s awesome to hear that you are on the road to a new adventure! You’re always looking to progress and help other do the same – and regardless of whatever path you choose, it will be fulfilling! and who knows? maybe down the road the love for photography will be rekindled….

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, and you’re right – who’s to say that my love for photography won’t be brought back to life on day? 😉 xoxo

  10. YOU are inspiring to all! I am hooked on your enthusiasm.
    We find true happiness when we find what we are meant to
    achieve; not what we think we are meant to be.
    With drive and motivation we all finally find that road that
    takes us where we are meant to go. Thank You for your sharing your challenges and following your heart. I know how it feels, I am in my mid-40’s and I have a passion for Photography, but over the past 2 years I have faced insecurities that have kept me in a funk. I guess I am scared of failing. So I have done the negative self-talk: My pictures aren’t great, I won’t know what to do once my clients get in front of my camera, etc. to the point that I have been idle in my passion to start my photography business. There was always one reason after another and here I am today… BUT… I am trying to overcome my fears and my new motto is “just do it”. The greatest lessons learned are through failing and getting right back up! You are inspiring! Good Luck and super excited to see what is next for you…

    1. Melanie!

      Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so glad that you found this post inspiring. I LOVE what you said about finding true happiness in what we are meant to achieve, not what we THINK we are meant to achieve. So true!

      I’m so sorry to hear that you struggle so much with the negative self-talk and insecurities, you should definitely read the book “The War of Art”. It’s brilliant and may help you with this! Another great motto along with “Just do it” is “Find a way”! If you really want something, FIND A WAY to make it happen 🙂 I love that one!

      You sound awesome and I just know that with enough work you CAN do whatever it is that you want to do and you CAN put your fears aside. Don’t let them stop you from shining and stepping into your greatness. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

      BIG hugs xoxo

  11. Aw Alex you must have been going through a million emotions all at once BUT…how exciting is this new adventure?! I bet you are feeling like that first spring Daffodil after a long cold winter right now.

    I can’t wait to see what you have in store.
    Becky x

    1. Becky – a million emotions all at once? YES! That’s exactly how it felt haha. But you’re so right – this new adventure is SO EXCITING and I’m just so thrilled to really get it moving and on the right path. It’s something I’ve been struggling with and I think after making this final announcement I’m ready to take it on with full passion. I’m excited 😀

      BIG hugs and thank you for such a beautiful comment!

  12. I’m not surprised by this admission. I’ve noticed it long before and probably a lot of people as well, that you stopped photography.

    1. Agreed. I came in to her fanpage through seeing Chatty Tuesdays on youtube and as long as I’ve been a fan of “Alex Beadon Photography.” I saw only one actual picture posted of hers so I was a bit confused as to why the “Photography” was attached if she wasn’t necessarily doing photo shoots. When she made Alex Beadon a fanpage by itself it started to make sense and I took the hints.

  13. Thank you, Alex. I think that spark for photography will always be there for you… even if you focus on business / marketing (which you’re awesome at)! You’re an awesome resource/help (in both fields!).

    1. Hey Holli, you’re very right. I still love photography, I just have no desire to take photos anymore. It’s the strangest thing haha. Big hugs to you and thank you for your comment 🙂

  14. Alessandra (Forever You Photog

    Alex, this post made me tear up. I totally understand a lot of your feelings and I feel it myself everyday. I really appreciate your talent and your marketing skills. It has helped me a lot with my photography business. Marketing is not my brightest side, so that why I really love what you do.

    1. Hi Alessandra!

      Aww, it’s so nice that you were so touched by this post. It was incredibly difficult for me to write and I felt as though I was reaching into the inner depths of my soul and pouring it all out for the world to see, so it’s nice to have connected with you like that. It makes it worth it! Thank you for your comment and I’m so glad that you love what I do. You rock!

      Big hugs xoxo

  15. Wow, I can totally relate to this.
    I spent years building a business of teaching acting and then I opened my own theatre, then this year I had a flood and I lost everything.
    Rock bottom was horrible and to be honest, I’m still getting over it. The one thing which was bugging me in all the mess I was in was that I wasn’t sad at the loss of my theatre or academy and I really had to wonder why. I felt like I’d been released from it and it felt good.
    It has totally made me re-evaluate my life, what I was passionate about. My passion has always been helping others try to make money from their passion. I’ve helped actors and so many other people carve careers for themselves.
    I’ve realised, like you, that my passion is actually business and most importantly helping others to live their best lives.
    Although my acting studio is going from strength to strength, I’m launching a new business next week ‘Super Woman Start Up!’

    So, I just wanted to say that I know how you’re feeling and I wanted to give you a huge sister high five! I’m excited to see where your new direction takes you.
    Doesn’t it feel great when all the pieces start to click in to place! 🙂
    xx

    1. Sally,

      Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me so openly. I can’t believe that you lost everything to a flood, I am so sorry to hear that and so sorry to hear that it has been such a struggle. It’s very interesting to hear that you felt as though you had been released from it. Marie Forleo says that you can always tell whether you’re in the right business by imagining that there was a law that EVERYONE had to close down their businesses and start a new one. How would you feel about this? Would it make you angry or would it make you feel relieved that you could escape from it without having to explain yourself to anyone. That’s kind of like what you went through, and you felt released.. amazing! In a strange way it was for the best, allowing you to pause and re-evaluate. It’s awesome that we are on similar paths: wanting to inspire others to shine in their lives and businesses. I just want to give you a huge internet hug, I feel you, girl! I can’t wait to see what you do and how you live your life following your passion!

      ROCK ON! <3 xoxo

  16. The line were you said “I’m not defined by photography. I’m defined by passion” really struck me. When other people ask us what we do, we say things like “I’m a teacher” or in your case you were saying “I’m a photographer.” But why are we not saying “I do what I am passionate about” first and foremost? Maybe we aren’t doing what we truly love because we are trying to force it like you have been or maybe we haven’t focused on finding or recognizing that passion. Either way I think you are spot about being passionate about what you do. If we all thought more about that, then I think we would all be more successful and happy.

    Your posts and videos are great and I can’t wait to see what else you have in store.

    Have a fabulous Thursday
    Cherin @masterfullyme

    1. Wow Cherin! Alex said it so eloquently, but you just nailed it for me! Next time someone asks me what I do for living and my guilt sets in or before I get the frown or the “don’t you want to look for a real job” because I am “only a crafter, a stay-at-mom, blogger and an occasional puppeteer” I will say exactly what you suggested “I do, what I have a passion for” 🙂

      1. LV, when someone asks you what you do for a living NEVER let guilt set in, and never feel ashamed or down about what you do. WEAR IT LOUD AND PROUD! With love xoxo

    2. Cherin,

      You have no idea how the questions “Who are you?” and “What do you do for a living?” FASCINATE me. Many times we answer the question “Who are you?” with what we do for a living, but WE ARE NOT WHAT WE DO FOR A LIVING. And even more so, when asked “What do you do for a living?”, our answers need to be better than a simple, “I’m a teacher/I’m a photographer.” Thank you for pointing this out, it’s so interesting to me, and I LOVE what you said about relating more to the PASSION than to however it is you choose to express that passion. Your comment is so inspiring, thank you for sharing and speaking up!

      With love and hugs,
      xoxo

  17. This feels oddly similar to a blog post I made earlier this week. Only, I’m leaving past passions FOR photography!

  18. Dayna @kaleidoscopebrain

    Good for you alex. Be SO so proud that you were brave enough to make this decision and annouce it to the world. Your drive and honesty (a really difficult combination), continues to be my inspiration. Kill it, girl.

    1. Dayna,

      The crazy thing is that I didn’t even realize that I was resisting my own passions haha. I was so focused and devastated on the fact that I would be losing photography, that it was hard to wake up to the reality haha. I’m SO EXCITED now, though, and feeling so good in general about the decision. Thank you for your comment and support, I always love seeing comments from you! 🙂

      Big hugs
      xoxo

  19. I’m sure you will bless and encourage a lot of people with this post, including me! Thanks for being so transparent in this regard. Being unhappy in a career or job that does not fulfill your passion is such a mental, physical and emotional drain. I love learning from your Weekly videos! –Carmen April, Creator/Blogger of Dinner With Nerds (www.DinnerWithNerds.com)

    1. Carmen,

      Just stopped by your site and am super intrigued! I’ve added it to my “Pocket” to check back on later 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment and support, you rock!

      xoxo

  20. I’m currently at that rock bottom end of the world trying to figure things out so I can claw my way out of this hole again. I haven’t yet got it all quite (fully) figured out just yet, but I’ve come to this conclusion at least – the reason I’ve been losing the feel for it is because I’m not a photographer. I’m an artist that uses photography as my medium to record my art.

    There’s an extent to which I can photograph campaigns and lookbooks etc. but without free and full creative reign I can easily become disinterested. I like to have more hands on on what I shoot, be more involved than just directing or worse, merely shooting (therein lies no joy for me). I want to conceptualise it from beginning to end and lately I seem to be missing that (and the budget to create what I desire for that matter haha!)

    But my point is this – I’m not a photographer. I’m an artist who uses photography as her tool. And as great as it is to have money, doing something you don’t enjoy just to obtain wealth can seriously suppress that creative spirit and leave one disillusioned and lost. It becomes a chore then, a day job. And few are ever truly happy in their day job’s.

    1. Ashley, I love what you said here, “I’m an artist that uses photography as my medium to record my art.” I think that’s why as an artist personal work is so important, where you can really have the full creative control we crave.

      And when you said this? “And as great as it is to have money, doing something you don’t enjoy just to obtain wealth can seriously suppress that creative spirit and leave one disillusioned and lost.” SPOT ON! Love it!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me, they are great perspectives to have. BIG hugs xoxo

  21. Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the
    World, and it will one day return there.
    The Alchemist
    Alex, You are a very brave ambitious person and I have no doubt that you will be successful in whatever you do and are passionate about! All the best to you!! 🙂

  22. Isabel Freiberger

    I think this is an amazing post and was really inspiring for me to read it. I have definitely been going through this with both of my creative careers, dance and photography. I recently moved in order to pursue both of these passions of mine, but it seems that I have never been less motivated and this is the scariest feeling for me. I have never felt so lost or stuck and just don’t know where to turn. Thanks for sharing your personal story…sometimes it helps just to know that we are not alone in what we are going through.

    1. Isabel! Motivation is a funny thing, isn’t it? I highly recommend reading The 12 Week Year, it really inspired and motivated me. Also – Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins. EXCELLENT reads, and will remind you of how to keep your focus strong on your goals and WHY you want to achieve them in the first place. I hope that helps a little bit and makes you feel at least a little less lost. You are not alone, and I’m so grateful to you for sharing your story here with me and with us as a community. You’re awesome. <3 xoxo

  23. Oh Alex, I feel totally the same and can not explain what it means to me that someone successful like you feeling the same and has the same thoughts and problems. Today I sent out a newsletter for my photography business. I will decide by how much feedback I get to force the business or not. But as you said where is the passion I had, where is the camera I took every day with me two years ago and took every single day pictures with it? Will it ever come back? I am still waiting for it. But in all these uncertainties your post gave me hope that I am meant to be to do something else. This post made, that I did what I wanted to do since August. I registered myself at a bit-part player agency. In August I worked for a German movie as a bit-part player and the feeling was amazing. It was the first time that I was satisfied with the job I did. And if I am lucky I can be seen in the cinema in April.
    I hope my English is not to bad and you understand most parts.
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Lots of love
    Izzie

    1. Izzie,

      I’m so glad you can relate to this post! Uncertainties will always be there, I guess what you have to do is really listen out in your heart for what you TRULY want to do. And a lot of times the only way to figure that out is by simply moving in a direction – any direction – to see what your heart leans towards, and what it leans away from. You know what I mean? You will find your way again soon. You always feel the most confusion and the most lost right before the big “a-ha” moment of clarity! Keep at it!

      BIG HUGS to you 🙂
      xoxo

  24. Krissy Peterson

    I love your posts, I love your advice. As a newbie interior designer, I’m doing the same thing you were when you were starting out as a photographer. As creatives, our passions change like the wind so just go with it. And hopefully, I’ll benefit with your new passion! Teach me teacher!!
    -Krissy {kpetersondesign.com}

    1. Hey Krissy!

      I checked out your website and I truly love what you have going on! I look forward to following along your journey through your blog and I’m sure I’ll be able to pick up lots of great interior design tips from you – something I’m fascinated by, but know NOTHING about! And hopefully you’ll be picking up some great branding tips here to apply to your own budding business. I love it! Thank you for your comment!

      BIG HUGS to you, girl!
      xoxo

  25. I am impressed with your honesty, and as always, will continue to follow your posts. You do a great job at whatever you do 🙂

  26. I know what you are talking about and I am going through a very similar transition. When we do what we Love we will never work a day in our lives. Obviously you have what it takes to do anything you want and I look forward to hearing more about your journey. I know I got your back and I am sure your community is willing to be here to see what happens on the other side. Keep going I’m enthralled.

    1. Hi Mike!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. It’s great to be able to connect to people like you from all over the world who are going through similar transitions. Thank you for the support, and I look forward to going through this awesome new journey with you and everyone else on board together. I’m excited!

      Big hugs to you, it was great to hear from you!
      xoxo

  27. Good for you! I think you’re being super brave to admit you don’t want to carry on with photography. A lot of people would have just carried on- it takes courage to say this isn’t what I want to do- I left teaching earlier this year and a nice safe career. 6 months down the line I have a successful part time photography business and a full time dream job!

    1. Hey Becky,

      Honestly, it’s been such a long time coming. I realized that there was just so much resistance to carrying on with photography that I simply couldn’t put myself through it and be happy. I love that you left your nice, safe career to chase your dreams. THAT is bravery, and I have so much respect for you because of it. Too many people always think about doing it, but never do. We only live once, so we’ve gotta make it count, right? 🙂

      BIG HUGS!
      xoxo

  28. Ok lady… this post is so outrageously awesome!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! You so help put the passion and inspiration back into me!! You are my go to gal for any photography/business related problem. I cannot tell you what a blessing it is to have you share so much incredible information! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

    1. Katarina!

      Thank YOU so much for such an awesome comment! I’m THRILLED to have been able to inspire you in any way, and HONORED to be your go-to gal for any photography/business related problem. Thank you for trusting me with that!

      From the bottom of my heart, thank you for following along, and thank you for this beautiful comment!
      xoxo

  29. Liberty Edwards

    Alex, this EXACT thing happened to me in the beginning of the year. I finally after 7 years chose to let go and close my photography businesses. It was a shock to so many people. BUt like you I didn’t even want to touch my camera. In fact I almost cried just looking at it because I wanted to look at it, but I just couldn’t find the passion to. I am having a fabulous time now leading a team in a network marketing business which is where my true passion lies, being social and being with other people. I love it and am glad I chose this way. I am happy to say my camera and I have made up, and I now take photos when and where I want and enjoy my shooting!

    1. Liberty,

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one haha! And I know what you mean when you say it was a shock to so many people. When you told people the news, were they like “WHAT?!” haha. That’s what it’s been like for me! I don’t blame them though, I’ve associated myself so strongly as a photographer that it makes sense that it would come across as a surprise.

      “But like you I didn’t even want to touch my camera. In fact I almost cried just looking at it because I wanted to look at it, but I just couldn’t find the passion to.”

      Oh, Liberty, I’ve been there. I know what that feels like, and isn’t it just so sad in the moment?

      But on the bright side, I’m glad to hear you’ve moved onwards and upwards, and it’s GREAT to hear that you’re actually taking photos again and enjoying it.

      Last weekend I brought my camera with me to a friends barbecue and actually took it out and took some portraits of the dogs. I was really impressed with myself. It didn’t make me feel sick or resentful as I normally do, and I’m hoping that with this announcement to the world of being over with photography, that I’ll be able to use it more and more often just for fun. Because why not? 🙂

      Big hugs and I’m so glad you commented! It was great to hear your story!
      xoxo

  30. Hi Alex! I noticed the change way back! I love how you keep evolving and believe me I understand what you mean about losing interest in photography. I’ve been there quite a few times, but I am also still evolving as an artist. Nowadays I shoot mainly for me. I also like to take a step back once in a while to re-evaluate things whenever I have to. That way, I can let go of whatever’s not serving me any purpose and shift myself around for the next move. When we move on from one phase to the other, we may be tempted to think that we are a failure, or we may even believe that other people might think we are. But it’s not that – if we have a soaring spirit – we will eventually reach new heights. It’s about exploring, experimenting, trying new things to see where it takes us. It’s searching and finding out what works for us (at the moment) as we continue to grow and be in a better position than we were before….. Ok, I think I just wrote a blog post lol!
    Hugs to you, Alex!

    And keep on rocking, girl!! 😉

    1. Carmen!

      I LOVE your comment and have so much to say, sorry for the novel of a response haha! You’ve been warned 😉

      Yes, anyone following along closely enough could tell I was drifting further and further away from photography, and I’m glad you were one of them! 🙂

      I’m also glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s evolving as an artist! For the longest time I felt so alone and as though I was going crazy, but the more I spoke about it and the more I was open with it, the more normal I realized it was. I look forward to getting to the point where I can shoot just for my own enjoyment. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m definitely making improvements. For example, I’d really love to take more personal photos and post them on Instagram to connect with people in a much prettier way. BUT alas, I’m just not there yet, and much prefer to use my iPhone camera haha!

      And in reference to what you said here:
      “When we move on from one phase to the other, we may be tempted to think that we are a failure, or we may even believe that other people might think we are. But it’s not that – if we have a soaring spirit – we will eventually reach new heights. It’s about exploring, experimenting, trying new things to see where it takes us. It’s searching and finding out what works for us (at the moment) as we continue to grow and be in a better position than we were before….. ”

      My heart skipped a beat when I read this! Please let me share this with my followers on Facebook. Where should I reference it to? Do you have a website or FB page? And what’s your first and last name? It’s pure brilliance and it just summarizes exactly how I feel so beautifully. Wow, thank you for your brilliance! If you don’t want to respond here with your info, email me here: hello@alexbeadon.com

      You are simply awesome, and I’m so grateful for your comment. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, you’re brilliant!

      Big hugs
      xoxo

  31. Sarah Elizabeth

    That’s the thing with being a true artist… we never want to stay in the same place for very long. Since quitting my full-time salaried job… I have felt the world of creative possibilities open up… I am good at a lot of things… and I love being a photographer. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I branched out to other things as well – including creative writing. I now feel like I have the confidence to do anything (thanks to the photography).

    1. Sarah – you’re so right! Artists are always redefining, reinventing, reshaping, remolding, I love it. Thanks for sharing your story with me and I hope all of your creative ventures give you much happiness + success! 🙂

  32. Good Word girl ! Thanks for sharing your heart. I do relate. I somewhere lost my passion for “photography” to and have no idea why? But I love what you said ” I’m not defined by photography. I’m defined by passion ” AWESOME ! Thanks 🙂

    1. Geri, thank you so much for your comment and I’m so happy that you can relate! We aren’t defined by photography but by our passion! Big hugs xoxo

  33. Hey Alex, you know it’s almost as if you are me, telling myself the truth about all of the stuff you just said. Confusing? I am right there, getting nudges from my dad to get a ‘real’ job with pension and medical aid, waking up EVERY SINGLE DAY wondering if I am doing the right thing, but worst of all, losing my passion for what I love so deeply because of the struggle to get it started. I want to continue studies next year but have no CLUE which direction to turn because, am I losing my passion too? I really don’t want to…

    1. Hey Tammy,

      Isn’t it funny how sometimes you find the right blog post and it’s like you’re reading your own words. I love when that happens, and glad you connected in that way!

      My only advice would be to look at this period of feeling lost and confused as a good thing . Keep making moves in any way that makes your heart happy, as long as you’re moving forward and keeping busy, you’ll be led to make the right connections as to what it is that you should be doing. Trust it will all fall together, and that the most confusion and lost you’ll feel is right before total clarity! It’s coming!

      And when you feel the most lost and confused, watch this, it never fails to help: http://youtu.be/D1R-jKKp3NA

      Right there with you, big hugs
      xoxo

  34. Good day to you passionate business lady! I read through your blog and it sounds so much like me in ways that I can’t put into words. I struggled with that initial passion. Lost it, tried again with a different market and still the one thing that makes me happy is educating / sharing with others. Don’t get me wrong. As a photographer I still love my clients (doggies), but the stress of keeping the passion flowing is a struggle. I applaud you for seeing your new vision. I look forward to seeing more from you.

    1. Hey Laura,

      I’m so blown away by how many people, like you, can relate so strongly to this post. Thank you for sharing your story with me, and I’m SO HAPPY that you don’t seem afraid to switch things up until you find something that really fits. You rock!

      Big hugs
      xoxo

  35. Thanks for being so openly honest Alex! There are so many people out there who hide their struggles and that leaves those of us who are lost in our own lives feeling like we’re alone in this battle. The fact that you’re brave enough to open up about your lost passion to strangers is inspiring and that’s what keeps all of us coming back to you every week for more insight into life, whether its about photography or business or branding or etc.

    This blog for me came at the right day of the week, right where I’m at a fork in the road trying to choose where to go. Who knows who else you’ve already helped today by writing your true, honest, feelings and being open with your closest audience.

    Chin up Alex, you’re amazing and your fans have your back!!
    “We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too.”

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah, for this beautiful comment. It means the world to me that you were able to connect so strongly with this intimate post of mine. I was a little bit afraid to hit that “publish” button, but am so glad I did. I’m thrilled this post found you at just the right time when you needed it most, and I’m forever grateful for your support. Thank you, times a million! Big huge hugs xoxo

  36. Ashley dellinger photography

    Hahaha why do you beat me! BTW I see you popping up randomly on the internet & I love it. I started following you back before super stardom when you were still really popular but not quite global lol. Seen you had a feature in Chic or some photography magazine wow! Awesome on a side note did you submit for that or did they approach you ive been wanting to do more published stuff & have been submitting to blogs. But ya, I feel the same way. I dont like all the fluffing & hand holding involved in Photography so I have been getting more & more into graphic design where ic an create something & sell it no need for all the hugging lol not my style. Anyways you rock & I love your business stuff but I do really miss your photography posts those were my fav’s. Maria changed you! She took away a colorful photographer!

    1. Hey girl 🙂

      Thanks so much for coming along with me on this roller-coaster ride over the last few years! Yes, been featured in a variety of different places. I’m only now starting to lean into opportunities like that, and I highly recommend it. It definitely opens you up to new audiences and gives people more a chance to find you, which is AWESOME! Sometimes opportunities have come to me, like a recent invitation to get an advanced copy of New York Times Bestselling Author, Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. And other times I reach out for opportunities. For example, my recent features on Chic Critique + Rock the shot? We reached out to them to offer them a giveaway of the actions for them to feature on their blog, which they gladly accepted and it gave us a lot of great publicity! Just experiment and see what works for you, but it helps to have a relationship with these brands before asking to be featured you know? Relationships come first!

      I love that you, too, are leaning away from photography and towards something new and different. Good for you! I think it’s actually a REALLY good thing to be finding our way through life, discovering what we truly love and what truly meshes well with our personalities and passions. Good luck with the graphic design, let me know how it goes! 🙂

      I really miss my photographs, too. I used to be so immersed in it, passionately, totally, completely, obsessively. I loved it and oh, how I’d love to have it back, but I just can’t force it haha. Marie Forleo was definitely a catalyst that propelled me in this direction! I love her forever for it!

      BIG HUGS!
      xoxo

      1. Ashley dellinger photography

        Well everything you do you commit yourself more then most & you do awesome. Your calling is definitely anything that deals with inspiring people. 191 comments on a blog post shows just how much people relate to your content & words. Thanks for always being an inspiration & being so humble… its my favorite thing about you. Thanks for the advice too. I definitely need to get myself out there more. You can sell the worlds best cookie & not sell a single one if no one knows about you ; p

  37. What you’re feeling makes sense. You are doing what few know and that is pursuing your passions. Passions change like seasons and develop us into what we were designed for this time on earth. Thanks for being real and vulnerable with us readers. What you’re feeling is normal and is/will be encouraging to others who will go through the same process one day. Thanks again!

    1. April, I love what you said about passions changing like seasons – LOVE IT! 🙂 Thank you for your comment and thank you for your support. It’s awesome! xoxo

  38. Chicks B. Trippin

    Kudos to you! I’ve been in an on again/off again, love/hate relationship with design biz for six years. It’s something I’m great at but I didn’t really love it. Once I realized that the design biz would be what would allow my daughter to do as well as she’s doing in school (basically me being able to drive 140 miles a day), I stopped searching. Weeks before she started 12th grade, I came up with a whole new biz that will let me do what I love – travel AND help others. It is actually a combination of all the little side projects I started over the last 6 years, rolled up into one.

    I actually didn’t realize that you were a photographer until the third video of yours that I watched. You’re awesome with the biz advice/tips and I can’t wait to see what you get into next!
    ~Rikki

    1. Rikki,

      I’m so thrilled that you’ve been able to roll all of your little side projects and passions into one! That’s amazing and must have felt so, soooo good! 🙂 Thank you for your comment and I’m so excited for what’s to come for both of us!

      Big hugs
      xoxo

  39. WOW. I’ve never commented before, but I just have to let you know that you are SO inspirational! Keep doing what you find is your passion! It certainly seems to be working!

  40. Rock on girlfriend! Constant evolution is what it’s all about. Each step serves and nurtures the next. Congratulations!! Love you.

  41. This resonates with me as well! That’s why I like doing photography part-time as a creative outlet to my full-time job. Best of luck to you, Alex! I always appreciate reading your advice. It’s wonderful! You’re doing the right thing!!

  42. I’m a passionate starting out photographer, a baby in the business. I have a lot to learn and so far the clients I do get are extremely happy with my work. My problem is that I cant get a client base. Facebook yard sales are helping get a few here and there but I just cant get the work I see my other photographer friends that are 20 times more expensive are getting. I don’t charge hardly anything for my work just to get work and I’m still not busy. I love love love what I do and need more clients but it seems that there is something wrong somewhere. I cant afford to advertise so I just keep trucking hoping that in a year or 2 I will get enough clients that will keep coming back to me. Thankfully my husband is the provider so I don’t have to worry about making a living from this but I absolutely love meeting new people and taking their photos and giving them beautiful memories. So I do feel like giving up but I love it so much and am so happy to see their happy faces when they see their pics it keeps me going.

    1. Hey April,

      Business is like a huge puzzle. You have to keep moving around the pieces, tweaking and tweaking until you find a recipe that works for you. Don’t be put off by the fact that your other photographer friends, who are 20 times more expensive, are getting more work than you. And have you ever thought that the fact they are 20 times more expensive makes them much more valuable and in demand? Try raising your prices and communicating the value of what you do as much as you possibly can! If it’s your passion, stick with it, and don’t give up. That’s what separates those who achieve success and those who don’t. Many times the successful ones went YEARS without success, experiencing failure after failure, but never giving up. Keep your vision strong, and you CAN do it!

      BIG HUGS
      xoxo

      1. Thank you for replying Alex. I did try to raise the prices like having a session fee and raising the cd ect and no one got a hold of me. Of course the only ones I can get are the ones on the facebook yardsales, i cant afford any other type of advertising right now.

  43. I could see it in your videos, and your writings and I remember thinking “She is really good at getting people excited about being an entrepreneur. And you are. Congratulations on finding your space. You are still a photographer, and the lessons you learned have you take you to this place. Photography was the catalyst. The thing you needed to create the business, to try new things, test the waters. This article comes at a timely place for me. My business started as photography, and I still love it, but I am more into creating art, and don’t really do portraits. My on-line business that I started through B-School is Worth Her Weight and it started as a way of helping myself and other Plus Size Women feel good about themselves wherever they are in their journey, but lately I feel like I don’t want it to be all about Plus Size Women, but about All women, and yet, I know Plus Size Women (a lot of them) need that defined space of a safe place to go without judgment and I am trying to figure out a way to blend the idea. So I hear you girlfriend and I can’t wait to hear more. Congratulations!

    1. Hey Taryn!

      You’re so right. Photography was the catalyst, and I’m just so excited about this new adventure! Thank you for your comment and support!

      I totally feel your worries with “Worth Her Weight”. Just know that you CAN create a safe place for Plus Size Women in many other ways than by ONLY being available to them. Create a safe place for any and all women, and I’m sure you’ll have a winner of a business.

      Rock on and keep me updated!
      xoxo <3

  44. This really hit me hard. I’ve always struggled with the whole idea of “What should I be when I grow up?”, but why should I choose? I’m passionate about a lot of things – why should I have to narrow it down to one? Unfortunately, I can’t make a living off of some of my passions and hobbies, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t “exercise” them.

    Right now I’m in a phase of my photography where I feel like I’m in this weird..funk. I love it. I love doing it, but it seems like so does every one else. We’re in the world of camera phones and every other Instagrammer thinks that they are next big-thing. No joke, in the last month I’ve had numerous friends on facebook create “(insert name here) Photoragphy!” pages. I’m struggling with being happy for them and being frustrated. It’s great they are also following their passion, but I don’t want to be thrown into this category with them. I want to stand out and make a name for myself, but instead in everyone’s eyes I’m currently “just another person with a camera phone and decent digital camera”.

    Whew! Thanks for letting me vent 🙂 Anyway, I’m happy that you are strong enough to recognize your new passion, work towards it and not lose yourself along the way. I’m excited to see how great things turn out for you. Thanks for always inspiring us to be better.

    xx
    Sammy
    wwww.charliestella.blogspot.com

    1. Sammy! I remember feeling the exact same way about the photography industry. But instead of letting the overabundance of photographers out there get you down, allow it to inspire you and motivate you to be the absolute best you can be, to stand out in every and any way that you possibly can so that you are NOT grouped into that category as “just another person with a camera phone and decent digital camera”. Show the world you’re more than that, and you’ll never be compared again! 🙂

      BIG HUGS and all the best to you, my friend!
      xoxo

  45. Bold, brave, and beautiful. I am going through the very thing myself, and this was enormously helpful and encouraging to read! Thank you, Alex! You go girl!

    1. Christine, I’m so happy that this was helpful and encouraging to read. Thank you for commenting, it means so much to me to hear your thoughts! xoxo

  46. Bethany Aleshire

    YOU GO GIRL!!!!! I’ve had the exact same thoughts and decided just yesterday to give up design and just pursue my photography business (but I’m still in design school) — though it wasn’t because I don’t love it but because I can’t serve my clients the AWESOME way I want to serve them where I’m at now. I feel some fluctuating passion for photography and will be keeping an eye on if it’s my passion or not. You’re going to be awesome at whatever sets your heart on fire girl 🙂 Thanks for being bold and sharing!

    1. Hey Bethany,

      I’m so shocked at how many of us are going through the exact same thing! Thank you for sharing your story here with me, and I wish you all the best in discovering your passions and pursuing them! You rock!

      xoxo

  47. Reading this post really helped me recognize a similar situation I am going through presently. Although after a year of soul searching I have some how found myself reaching for my camera once again I can completly sympathize with where you are at. I will miss your photos greatly as you are such a talented photographer but admire you for following you passion! You are full of courage and promise! GO FOR YOURS! xx

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! I’m so happy this helped you out with another situation you’re going through and trust me, I’ll miss my photos too haha! Thank you for the support though and for taking the time to comment 🙂 You rock! xoxo

  48. Elizabeth Hartung

    I love how you teach about business Alex! Bring it on and keep up the awesomeness! I am leaning in to you even closer now girlfriend… -Elizabeth

  49. I’m in the total opposite place you’re in, but I really appreciate your honesty. I love photography and visual art, but I’m clueless when it comes to business. I’m really glad you started following me on Twitter because I really need someone like you to learn from.

    It was easy for me to find photography work when I was living in Paris, but L.A. is a totally different animal. I’ve been here since July and I’m just now starting to make some inroads. These past few months have been a struggle and I’ve had many dark nights of the soul, but I’m really glad I didn’t give up. For me, the struggle ultimately makes it all the sweeter. Anything meaningful in life is worth fighting for, worth struggling over. Of course I want to be successful and I want to jet set all over the world, and I’ll get there, but I’ve had to starve a little bit. It’s been tough but I don’t know if I’d appreciate it as much if everything just fell into place for me from the get-go.

    Like a lot of other creative people, I’ve had my fair share of the “when are you getting a REAL job!?” yadda yadda from friends and family but the one thing that kept me from giving up is *knowing* that one day I’ll make a living from this. I never had a Plan B because I never wanted to have that mental crutch of knowing I’d have something to fall back on. And you know what? Things are starting to turn around. Just today I had an interview with a photographer here in L.A. who’s very well-established and successful and I’ll begin working with him in his studio next week.

    To reiterate, though, I’m glad that you’re honest. I feel like a LOT of well-known photographers are probably “in the closet” about this. There are multiple photographers who strike me as being entrepreneurs at heart and photography was just this thing they realized they could capitalize on. Of course, you were legit in love with photography until your true love came along, so you differ from them in that regard, but still. Much respect.

    BTW, I’m glad you started following me on Twitter. I had never heard of you before but my shaggy artiste ass could definitely use some of your business acumen!

    1. Hey Aaron! Thanks for this awesome comment, it’s really wonderful to hear your story and be able to connect with you in that way. I LOVE your passion, it’s contagious, and the way you speak about your pursuit is inspirational. I love that you KNOW you’ll make it one day, and that you know this journey will make it that much sweeter. I wish you BIG success, and I’m glad to be able to be there to help you in any way that I can along the way!

      Big hugs
      xoxo

  50. I completely understand and I am happy for you that you were able to admit this and most of all that you KNOW what your passion is.. that you have figured it out. We all try to be successful in what we think or want our passion to be, but how do we really know what that is? Sounds like you figured it out.. and that is not easy I’m sure. You will be more successful in something your are passionate about and love doing than anything. I don’t think its a bad thing… doesn’t really encourage new photographers like me lol but that is ok, you inspire us to be who we are, not who we think we should be…. which is the most important. congrats 🙂

    1. Deanna, thank you for your comment! I say a big, huge YES to being who you are, and not who you think you should be! You said it perfectly! Big hugs xoxo

  51. Dearest Alex, this is your natural evolution, and it’s so wonderful that you’re staying true and honest with yourself along the way. The photos you took of me for my website are still my all-time favourites, so I want you to remember that even though photography is not for you, you worked the passion and talent you once had for it to the fullest. You can walk away knowing you put yourself into it 100%, and that you created work that was truly beautiful. Now you’re simply using that same talent and zest for life and talent in another arena. I can’t wait to see what you do next. I hope our paths cross again and that I can hear all about your ever-evolving plans, hopes and dreams.

    1. Dallas, you’re simply the best. Thank you so much for this encouraging comment, I can’t tell you how much it means to me, and I’m in total agreement with you : a shift is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just using all of my goodness in a brand new arena. I love it and I’m so excited 🙂 THANK YOU for your support, you are awesome and I appreciate it more than you know. WITH LOVE <3 xoxo and yes to hanging out again soon! We will make it happen!

  52. I still have a passion for photography…but all the “Saturation” of so-called photographers is making me love the chase…less. It’s draining.

    1. Hey Kelly,

      Don’t let that get to you! You have something very unique to offer the world of photography, focus on letting that be seen and heard, and the rest won’t matter!

      All the best xoxo

  53. Right there with you, going through something sooo very similar and always had a passion for business too more so than photography. Good luck in your future endeavors! Can’t wait to see it unfold!

  54. PrinceTy Gabriel Longworth

    I think it takes great courage to face what you feel is failure, when in fact you’ve succeeded in discovering where your true passion lies. Though I’m still grateful you’ll be sharing your business and marketing skills lol

  55. Alex, that is so awesome of you to share this with all of us. And I truly believe that you will succeed in everything you do! What I find amazing is that I have been watching a lot of your videos and implementing your advice into my photography business, and I have been researching more branding and marketing strategies. To me, this is a sign. You made this announcement right at the time when I was looking for it! Im excited for what you have in store, and am looking forward to learning more from you! Thank you!!

    1. Consuelo, I’m so glad this came at a good time for you and I’m SO EXCITED to get started on this new path. I’m glad to have you on the journey with me – thank you! xoxo

  56. Hi Alex, thanks for this. I have been thinking a lot lately as to where my passions lie as well. Though with this post and comments I’m realizing that passions ebb and flow and that’s ok. Hanging on to the “should” that’s my biggest hang up i think. Embrace change and keep creating, whatever it may be.

    1. You said it! “Passions ebb and flow, and that’s okay!” You’re so right. Hanging on to the “should” is so difficult for all of us, especially when you don’t even realize it (like what happened to me haha). I am now learning to do as you said and just embrace and welcome change as it comes, and I’m loving it 🙂 Thank you for the comment!

  57. Hey Alex,
    I was told about your site from a photographer-turned-business-coach who had you in a Wow Feaking Amazing bookmarks folder. I’m currently going through the same internal struggle. I started an interior design business a year ago and it’s with a heavy heart I’ve come to realise – IT’s NOT FOR ME.

    I will still always love styling a room, helping friends choose paint colours and finding the perfect accent pieces but I know it’s not my life calling. So I have enrolled in a Health Coaching course and I am so excited about my future coaching and developing others.

    Since finding out about you and your website I have learnt so much and have passed on your awesome tips and web address to my friends.

    It sounds like it couldn’t be a more perfect transition for you and I can’t wait to see how your journey unfolds! Best of luck xxx

    1. Kelle, You are doing the right thing! Only with time and experimentation can we truly know what is for us, and what isn’t, and I’m glad you’re on this journey with me of figuring it all out! 🙂 In the mean time I am so happy that you’ve learnt a lot through my site, and thank you so much for passing it on to your friends – that’s awesome! Thank you for your support and for your awesome comment! xoxo

  58. I have been there. I was super passionate about photography when I first picked up my camera and then it faded. It started to feel like a “job” instead of something that pumped through my veins. It was hard to let it go because I felt like a failure and it took me a long time to realize that it didn’t mean I am quitter or a failure. It just meant that I tried something and found out it was not for me. Which in turn puts me one more step in the direction of finding what I’m truly supposed to do with my life. And who would have thought but 2 years later that passion is starting to build again for photography. But this time it is just for me. No clients. No contracts. No exchange of money. I take photos of what I want, when I want, all for myself. Maybe you’ll pick up your camera some day and feel a bit of the inspiration come back? 🙂

    I’m excited to see what’s to come with your change in direction 🙂

    1. Hey Christine! You are so right when you said this: ” It just meant that I tried something and found out it was not for me. Which in turn puts me one more step in the direction of finding what I’m truly supposed to do with my life.” Oh I love it! Thank you so much for sharing and for commenting! Big hugs oxox

  59. I am so grateful that you decided to share this with your followers and honestly, this couldn’t have come at a better time for me. It seems over the last few days, the more and more I grow absolutely miserable in my job, the more people in my social media are posting about “following their passions”. In the last few days 3 of my friends on my news feed have decided to quit their jobs, posted about it on facebook, now this- AND my yoga instructor is private messaging me and asking me if I have quit my job yet because it makes me so miserable.
    Even though all of this is happening, I still need that last push over the edge. With the holidays quickly approaching I am stuck between a rock and a hard place- do I quit my job and try to make ends meat as a new photographer or do I ride it out miserable at my job but with guaranteed money in my pocket?
    My passion is photography and just simply making beautiful photos. I hope to have a studio some day and am in serious need of some advice. If anyone would like to throw in their tid bit, trust me, it is more than welcomed!
    Alex, thank you for your inspiration and I am so happy that you are truly following your dream!

    1. Chelsea, Ooooh I have such passionate feelings about sticking with a job you hate! It is so destroying, I just feel like everyone deserves to SHINE while they work. And if you’re miserable, well, there’s no shining haha. I’m so happy that this got you thinking about your passion, and about following your dream, I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you and what you decide! BIG HUGS to you xoxo

      1. Alex, I decided to go ahead and put in my two weeks on Friday! It went really well and I felt so much better after I did it! Although I have no idea what the future holds for me financially, I know that I will wake up everyday doing what I love. I started putting holiday packages together last night. No bookings so far but I plan on spending the majority of my day combing through your business tips!
        Thank you so much for your inspiration!
        Chelsea XoXo

  60. Kathy DeMay Mcdaniel

    I found when I lost my love for photography and graphic design. I started teaching basic art and then 7 years later I was offered a chance to teach graphic design. All I could think was could I be as good as all my great professors that got me wanting to live, eat and sleep photography and graphic design. It has been 5 years and there is no way I would give up this job. Is my passion back you ask? Well it is and it isn’t, not in the same way. I now get excited when others succeed, when I get phone calls telling me that they want to be as passionate about photography and graphic design as I am. I told that student I lost my passion. I love what I do but passion like I had before no. She told me you gave me a skill that I have been able to make money at. You changed my mind in 8th grade on what I wanted to do with my life. You were the one who believed in me and encouraged me. If you are not passionate Mrs. Mac then I want to be unpassionate too so I can make a difference in this world and maybe even make it prettier along the way.
    Wow I was shocked I was passionate just in a different way. I re-fell in love with photography and graphic design just in a different capacity.
    Listen to the voice and follow your heart. I all works out as it was planed.

    1. Oh Kathy, what a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I love that you are making such a profound difference with your talents and passion, it makes me so happy! Keep making a difference, you’re obviously doing something VERY right! 🙂

  61. We’re on a very similar path, Alex, and I really appreciated your post. I, too, lost my passion for photography while doing it as a business and I just couldn’t figure it out. It depressed me. If I love photography so much, why don’t I ever take my camera anywhere? I started to dread the photo shoots and decided to take a break. At first it stressed me out, but then I felt relieved.

    I’ve enjoyed watching your business evolve and am joining you in the evolution from photography business owner to _________ business owner. 🙂 And it feels OK. Actually more than OK…it feels totally right!

    Best of luck to you and I’ll be cheering you on!
    Karen

    1. Karen – I LOVE that it feels more than OK! I’m totally with you! Thank you for your comment, glad we can go through this together. xoxo

  62. First of all, I want to say this is really brave. Not only sharing it, but actually admitting it to yourself. I know how huge and scary it is to decide to change direction. Second, I want to say that I think your new direction is spot on! I’ve only been following your blog/work/Chatty Tuesdays for a few weeks but it’s been obvious all along that you know business inside and out (as well as photography). You’ve started to become a bit of a mentor for me in my pursuit of starting my own business! So don’t be scared. I think you’re making the right choice, Alex!

    1. Thanks so much, Becky! Your support and kind words mean so much to me and I’m just so excited to be on this new path. Thank you for your comment!

  63. I really understand the struggle you’ve been through. As newly graduated I’m in the process of trying to define my future job, my capabilities, me. And photography is a part of that whirlwind.
    I’m so happy for you – good luck with everything! And thank you for always sharing your passion 🙂

  64. This is a very important thing and so good to finally make peace with it. When I visited your website the first time I came for the business advice, not for photography tipps. And that’s also the reason I come to your page regularly. You have a great sense for colors and layout, but you also have such an optimistic and cheery way of teaching about business, too. It would be a waste not to use these abilities! I never have watched ANY other video about business that made me actually FEEL better and enthusiastic enough to change things immediately – yours are the only ones, really. So glad you change your direction, because that’s exactly what I love most about your website 😉
    Have a good time, Anne

    1. Anne, this comment made my day. Seriously, thank you so much! I’m thrilled that you have enjoyed my business videos so much! BIG HUGS to you and THANK YOU for being on this awesome new journey with me 🙂

  65. Hi Alex, thank you so much for sharing this with us! I started following you because of your passion and business tips, and you have taught me so much. I have recently decided after being passionate about photography for 20 years that it’s about the art and not necessarily the camera. I couldn’t understand not wanting to pick up my camera anymore. I have started painting lessons and am surprisingly good at it, photography was there because it was instant and easier than painting. Painting has improved my photography ten fold. Trouble is since I have decided I’m not a photographer, my photography has really taken off and I have had to become picky (a good thing, right?)! Maybe because I know now what it is exactly that I want, and that is to make pieces of art to make people happy, whether it is of their children or a landscape, I am not defined by my medium. All the best for your future ventures!

    1. Mel, I’m so glad that you enjoy my business tips! Thank you for following along and thank you for sharing your story with me, my mom has always told me if I want to be a great photographer I should start painting. Good to know she was right 😉 BIG HUGS to you! xoxo

  66. One thing that always plagues me when I go through a break-up is this; did I ever truly love that person in the first place, or was I just in love with being in love?

    That’s the side that hits me the most: the feeling of betrayal of self. Sure, we can say “it’s a journey” and “I got to know myself” but there is always this nagging feeling at the back of my head “what if I just wasted a whole load of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t?”

    When I gave up my full-time job to be a self-employed photographer here in London I made a decision. I knew I adored photography, but I knew that if I had to make money from it, I would need to be practical first, passionate second.

    When I say “practical”, don’t get me wrong. I believe life as a photographer is a life where I am fulfilled, I’m the boss of myself, and I’m not chained to a desk week-in week-out.

    But for me photography is a job. It’s a job that makes me smile, sure. And one that allows my detail-obsessive side to come out. But it’s a job. And jobs mean sticking with it, rejoicing in the clients who are great, and dealing with the clients who are a nightmare. Getting vast amounts of editing done when you don’t feel like it.

    Maybe that’s why I’m more successful at holding down a career than my love life…

    Anyway Alex, I’ve been a silent follower of your blog for a while and I thought your post was excellent, really honest, and doubtless something many photographers and entrepreneurs alike will relate to. All the best in your future endeavours!

    1. Mat, wow! Really interesting comment. “The feeling of betrayal of self” “what if I just wasted a whole load of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t?” I love that comparison and it’s so thought-provoking. And I love what you said about being practical first, passionate second. It’s the truth. If you want to make it as a photographer, you have to have the business side down and actually be able to make money from it. AND YES to this “But for me photography is a job. It’s a job that makes me smile, sure. And one that allows my detail-obsessive side to come out. But it’s a job. And jobs mean sticking with it, rejoicing in the clients who are great, and dealing with the clients who are a nightmare. Getting vast amounts of editing done when you don’t feel like it.” I just love all you had to say here, thank you for sharing – so insightful and interesting! THANK YOU for taking the time to comment! xoxo

  67. Maxine Schiffmann

    Hey Alex,
    its funny that your article came today. Just a few days ago I was think about your business and I thought to myself that you would be great at doing specific business trainings for your creative niche. I guess you know Laura Roeder and how she got started? I thought that would fit in really well with what you arre doing and now even more considering you want to change your focus! Or did you plan that already 😉

    It also felt really good to read how you feel! I don’t struggle with loosing my passion but rather about choosing the right passion of mine to develop into a business.

    Good luck for your new direction 😉
    Maxine
    http://www.theleaderoftomorrow.com

    1. Hey Maxine!

      Thank you so much for your comment. I know Laura Roeder, but I don’t really know her past/how she got started, so I’ll definitely have to look into that, thank you for pointing it out! You are spot on because the plan is to launch some awesome business trainings for creatives – watch this space 🙂 You rock and thank you for the comment!

      Big hugs
      xoxo

  68. Thank you so much for sharing this very personal perspective of your trial to find your passion again. I believe we all change with time and therefore so must our passions and directions. Beautifully written. And thrive for happiness!

  69. Thanks Alex for being so honest. I feel your admission was not only courageous but inspiring as well. We should pursue what we are most passionate about whatever that may be. I also love business (which is why I pursued and earned an MBA). For the longest time I felt guilty that I had this amazing degree but I was still working in the legal field. And then I got divorced, met my second husband (who is a photographer like me) and slowly but surely we built a small photography business together. We are still developing and growing but I’m so happy that I now have a way to use my degree that makes me feel good every day. I guess looking back, I never wanted to be that “Wall Street finance guru” or some such thing that most people use an MBA degree for and instead wanted to start a business. So, now I’m the COO of our company. I still have my “day job” as you mentioned but it’s my goal to one day lose the day job and pay all of our bills with our business. I look forward to hearing more advice an inspiration from you about how to handle that business. Thanks again 🙂

    1. Tina, I love your story because you are a perfect example of someone who is pursuing her passion, and not doing what she feels she “should” be doing, or what everyone else thinks she “should” be doing. It’s awesome to hear. Big hugs xoxo

  70. i needed this. i’ve hit that wall too and talked with two other women in a local business group. they told me to take the month off from it and just focus on being the stay at home mom that i also am, and enjoy the time I have with my nutty 4 year old. I have, and while I enjoy life a little more without a hovering pressure, I still have little marketing voices in the back of my head. i am letting time go by to let what i truly want to simply resurface-in one form or another. and be that in going back to an office job with photography on weekends or just taking pics of the kid, I am determined to be happy (and not force it lol). congrats on letting what you truly want come through you!

  71. Rebecca Maalouf

    I’ve been reading your blog and recommending you to others as a business consultant/inspirational coach. Have always had to qualify it with “she’s a photographer but…” because my business has nothing to do with photography. Your website is bookmarked “brilliant business woman!” so I don’t confuse it with an old photography interest. You are doing the thing you do best, and I am thankful to have found your blog. You are a brilliant business woman, an inspirational coach, and a creative force for every business person who is following their passion. Thank you!

  72. Wow! Thank you so much for this. I think I might be feeling the same way. I seriously think you hit the nail on the head! This is so good.

  73. I finished this with tears streaming down. It’s a weight lifted to know that this is something others go through and you made such fine points that I’m going to start putting into practice. Thank you for sharing your passion … and more importantly sometimes the lack of.

  74. Rachel Waterman

    Wow! Thank you so much for this! I feel the same way! I was so passionate about photography, however through my years in art school I lost that passion. I decided that I wanted to work for a photography business, and not a studio, but never told anyone. I felt like I was doing something wrong, so I kept it to myself. But when you say “…helping creative beautiful souls…create an environment for themselves that helps them thrive.” it struck me! This is exactly how I feel! I still have a passion for photography, its just a different sort of passion! I love it so much so that I want to see others be inspired by it and grow in their passions and business! Thank you so much for making me realize that this feeling is more normal than I though!

  75. disqus_Y4TtKx0y9Z

    This made me think that maybe the disability “ptsd” that kept me from going professianal was a blessing in disguise. These days I still enjoy my fave genre street portrature that I started when I transitionalized out of homelessness and enjoy sharing my images with the folks that I photograph on the street, Thanks for sharing Alex… Leroy Skalstad

  76. I have been following your blog/site from a long time. Since you had not moved to your new/present home 😀 .. then for some reason.. for a few months I didn’t follow up. I saw the link on fb and read it through. Truly a wonderful write up & something that every person, a photographer or not should read and can relate to.

    I’ve been a 3d artist for nearly 7 years. It’s hasnt been more than 2 years that am photographing weddings, kids & food. There have been times when I’ve been down and out, because of less no of shoots. Being an artist, just doesn’t work now days. You need to have a business mind, even if it’s 30% and 70% is art unless you want to keep it going as a hobby. I guess whatever you like/love to do, give it your best shot and don’t compare what the other artist is doing or selling next door. It’s easy to say and tough to follow, but something that I am learning. My two cents.. probably not related entirely to your blog post. But I felt I could write in this space.

    Keep up the awesome work you are doing!

  77. Saadia Me'Chel Carnes

    I must admit, I am going to miss your photography work. You are so good at it. I’ve been following you & your work for quite sometime. I think you are gifted at photography in a way but I appreciate you being honest with yourself about what you want. The simply fact that you know what you are passionate about is the step in the right direction. Everything you touch is gold so I know you’ll be great at your next endeavor! I’m just waiting for the day you start offering business coaching so I can sign up 🙂

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  79. Love this article. I’ve been through all sorts of passion highs and lows, I’m a creative that’s been in an athletes body for over 15 years, I loved my sport and I had success, but now I’ve moved on! I make films, take photos and run a successful (almost self sufficient) YouTube channel doing daily vlogs. I think your passion can migrate and evolve, I used to want to be an Olympian, now I want to change peoples outlook on life, through my videos 🙂

    Thank you x

    Ben Brown – http://youtube.com/benbrown100

  80. This is why i absolutely love you. You inspire me to do what I love!! I’m at a college visit this weekend and one thing I heard that really hit home is that sometimes you love many things, but pick the thing you’re most passionate about, the thing that drives you…and ride it out until it’s time to take a step in a different direction.

  81. Alex, I totally feel you, girl!! I started working as a photographer last year, during a period of self-realisation and escape from a very unauthentic and unhappy life I’d created for myself.

    In many ways, photography has been the conduit to my creative reawakening… I feel like it has helped me redefine myself again as a creative; an artist; someone who sees the beauty in life and wants to capture it to share with others.

    But over the last few months, I’ve felt exactly the same way as you, and no matter how many courses I go on, how many shoots I do, or how many photography magazines I read, something just doesn’t feel right.

    One half of me laments the fact that I’ve spent so much time, effort, and money (many thousands of pounds in fact, for lenses, courses etc) on something that I now feel isn’t quite the thing for me.

    But the other half of me really resonates with what you and others have written here – that as a creative, we are constantly evolving and blossoming, and part of that process is being able to be flexible and to let go gracefully of things that no longer serve you.

    For me, one of the things that drew me to photography in the first place was being able to tell a story through images. But now I realise that being a storyteller doesn’t have to be visual, and I am exploring writing, something that I’ve always felt in my heart to be my deepest love, as another way to express this.

    So, thank you for being so open and honest – hearing you say these things makes me feel so, SO much better about the journey I am currently taking myself, and makes me feel a bit braver about starting to tell others that I’m changing direction.

    I know that you are, and will continue to be, a hugely inspirational success at whatever you choose to do, and I look forward to following your journey with interest.

    Have a wonderful, relaxed weekend, without that gnawing uncertainty and guilt you’ve now freed yourself from! Chelley.Xx

  82. Lucy Hannah Photo

    I love your blog! I’ve been following your work for a while but only recently starting reading it in more depth. I love how honest and personal you’ve been in this post! I’ve been reading more and more lately about different photographers who have lost their passion for their craft once their dream of being professional is coming to life. And I can totally relate! When you wrote “I became the photographer who was ironically never seen with her camera”, i read it an was like…Thats me!! Thats exactly what I’ve been like the past year. When I’m photographing at a wedding then I love it but the second I get home my camera gets switched off an thats it, I don’t use it again until its for another job. When I first discovered photography I always had a camera with me. Strangely I had been writing a blog post about this just before I read this post, and it really hit home with me. At the minute I’m trying to find other aspects of photography that might inspire me and re-ignite the passion I use to have for it for its hard because I’m conscious that if I try and force it too much I’ll lose that passion completely. I’ve never been a business person and sometimes I think because I’m getting bogged down in the business stuff thats whats dragging my enthusiasm down, but your blog has been a great source of information and its helping me see the more fun and exciting part of business! Can’t wait to see what else is to come! 🙂

  83. Sooo…does this mean you want to sell me all your photography equipment??? 🙂 Hehe. Congratulations on finding out what you REALLY want to do in life! It must be such an amazing feeling once you realize what it is! 🙂

  84. Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to all those who aren’t brave enough to follow their passion or even allow themselves to understand what true passion is. I’ve watched your shift from photography to business through your posts and while your photography is stunning, I’ve really seen you be your best YOU when you are sharing your insights on marketing and branding. I’m one of the lucky ones who has actually met and limed with you (after all you are my best friend Maegan’s cousin), and I must say that I always knew you’d be destined for greatness. All of your posts have helped me greatly in my own life and I’m proud to say that you’re one of my biggest resources for a start-up tech company I work for. Keep following your passion cause in doing so, you shine a bright light that guides all of us to do the same!

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  86. You are a revolutionary! Business is in your blood. Perhaps it’s taking a break from photography more than breaking up?

  87. I am happy for you that u are getting into what makes you come alive; jus be sure to drop some great advices on photography from time to time.. I feel so connected to you.. by the way go ahead and write a book..

  88. Such a great post. When I got out of college I had my life planned out – I was going to run an art gallery/be a curator/art writer. But after a downturn in the art business and losing my confidence after grad school I found myself drifting aimlessly until I fell into a job in the tech world. That’s where I’ve been for the last 17 years. During that time I always incorporated the arts into my life whether it was volunteer work, supporting financially or practicing my own art (I’m a photographer which is how I stumbled onto your site). I was recently downsized from my marketing job and more than ever I feel it’s the time for me to take my corporate/marketing experience and go back to my first love – art. It’s been nagging at me for years, and as scary as it is I feel that if I don’t take this opportunity to do this now, I won’t. I don’t want to be 70 and looking back with regret about not doing what it is I am obviously passionate about – even if it means I will have to ‘struggle’ again for awhile. I’ll definitely be checking in to see where this new path takes you, but keep a camera or two because you never know when that ‘feeling’ might come back.

  89. so glad I read this…I’m still in the begging stages but most think my work is pretty awesome. Often wondering should I consider finding a mentor and go from there. I looking to learn everything there is out there and available and actually branding myself and making it an actual business. I’m still reading article on shooting jpg vs RAW lol….and the things is, everyone has there own way of doing things that works best for the. Hopefully soon, I can find My Way…

  90. I can only say one thing .. if there was once a passion for photography, it can always come back .. it will hit you just like the apple hit Newton under the tree .. just don’t search for it, don’t wait for it .. leave your life, be passionate about whatever makes you happy, and one day things will fall into places 🙂
    I can relate to what you say, because I’m in almost the same state as you now, it’s just that to me photography is a hobby, and right now … I feel like I’m in a hole, but it will be OK one day, I’ll get my ideas and creativity back 🙂 and I sure DO hope you’ll get yours too 🙂

    Stay safe, send you much love, hugs and creativity ideas :)))

  91. As I type this, I feel like I wrote this. I feel like it came from my heart. It felt so refreshing to read your thoughts of exactly how I feel. I mean EXACTLY. This has to be confirmation for me to do the same. I have been so scared to let photography go, due to how people feel. Thanks so much for sharing this. I believe I know what to do. Also, I am Audria Richmond, the young lady that wrote to you about rebranding. Thanks Again.

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  93. This quote says it all: “I’ve realized that my current passion lies in sharing the knowledge that I wish I had when I first started out as a photographer.” I think it’s great to realize that you CAN change your mind and change your dreams. Like you said, photography served its purpose in your life and you have to move on. By the way, I just started following you and I find your content very inspiring!

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