Two weeks ago, I introduced you all to the new Devon Hansford Creative. I’ve learned SO much from my first year in business, especially about who I am as a creative/photographer, I felt it was time for my brand to reflect that so I can better connect with you guys. I talked about some of those big changes in my last post, but one thing I didn’t address was the changes with me – My new branding is beautiful (thanks, Jordan!!) and I know I will connect with some really awesome new clients with it, but more than lovely aesthetics, my brand is me.
My brand is now a reflection of the growth I’ve experienced over this past year and I want to be honest with you about what that growth looked like for me. My heart for this post is that you see my passion for being a photographer and that it goes beyond just capturing memories.
Saying “no” to things that aren’t serving you sounds like a no brainer, right? Sometimes it can be a lot easier said than done, so I realized. I told myself over and over that I would be confident in saying “no” to opportunities and paths that weren’t for me in the season that I’m in. I did all this while pushing to be a wedding photographer and wondering why I kept coming up short. It took some prayer and a lot of reflection for me to realize that I didn’t fail, but this path is not the one I felt called down right now. As I mentioned in my previous post, I thought the only way for me to be successful financially and as a photographer was to make it in the wedding industry. Soon, that success became more important than it should have been and I lost my heart for my work. Weddings didn’t bring me joy the way photography did for me when I first picked up a camera and I was reminded of something a church friend said one time, “If you are unhappy in the way you’re serving, that’s a sign that you’re not where you’re supposed to be”. It was a hard pill to swallow that the wedding industry is not where I was meant to be right now, but after exploring my options outside of it, I found my skillset to have grown substantially and my passion for photography to have grown with it because I began serving in an area that was meant for me in this season of my business.
It’s something you get asked so many times as a business owner, no matter what kind of business you run. Why do you do what you do? What is your reasoning for going in this line of work? For me, the words “I want to capture memories for people to look back on” would fall off my lips as if those questions would trigger an auto-reply from me. Capturing memories is the base goal for many photographers, but in truth it goes a lot deeper than that. Each of us has a unique calling to do what we do for a special purpose. I learned mine at a marriage conference of all places, when Jefferson Bethke spoke. He talked about how it’s so important to tell stories and to pass on our narratives to our future generations because those narratives are all part of a beautiful story. Hearing that made everything click into place. I’m not in this to simply take pretty pictures to be framed and placed on a wall or a desk. I want to document the different seasons of life that people are in – raw emotions and all. These seasons are all stories, stories that build narratives, and narratives that are passed down to your generations to be built upon. These are more than just memories, these are foundations.
I’ve always admired a good story, fiction or non, whether it’s getting stuck in a book or staring starry-eyed as my grandfather talked about his adventures in the Navy, stories have been such a big part of my life and I learned that I want to share stories with others. I want to share your stories. Everyone has a story that is unique to them, and that story is powerful because God wrote it with love and intention.
I want to be there for mothers as they push out the babe they’ve carried for months. I want to be there when a man drops to his knee as he asks the love of his life to marry him, and I want to be there for the couples that simply want to celebrate their love. I want to be there for the resilient young women and men who have created their own business. I want to be there to listen to your story and help you invite others to lean into what you’re saying.
I’m getting chills as I type this post because I’m being so raw with you guys right now and I hope you feel that as you read these words from your screen. I hope you feel my excitement to work with you and to simply get to know you.