Most of my professional career has been focused in marketing, learning so much in the food world while at McCormick & Co. and OrderUp. Two years ago, I went out on my own doing marketing consulting, which allowed me time to turn my side hustle of photography into something more. I get excited when these two worlds can compliment each other with one client. I love providing photography and social media strategy as a way to empower businesses and entrepreneurs to authentically represent and communicate their brand. I do this by setting up scenes that are the right balance of aspirational and approachable, a real moment their customers could expect from them – lifestyle photography if you will. Recently, I have pursuing more opportunities in the cannabis space. I believe that high-quality lifestyle images are critical in helping to breakdown stigmas and helping to make cannabis more approachable.
Tell us about The Bmore Creatives!
I love The Bmore Creatives and that I’m able to be working on the team now. I truly believe that everyone has the capability to be creative. Yeah, maybe not everyone can or wants to make a living out of their creativity, but everyone can think and act creatively. Supporting The Bmore Creatives community is my way to help others explore their own creativity and appreciate other’s creativity.
For a few years, I definitely fan-girled on the co-founders of The Bmore Creatives, Alexa Gained and Lucie Camp. Every time one of my photos was featured, I would geek out that they liked it enough to share AND I would gain new followers, many of who have turned into friends and clients. They also created awesome events where I was able to meet these new creative friends IRL (including each person behind the brand now AND Rachel of Mother Muse).
Earlier this year, Isaiah Winters, Sebastian Marin, and myself joined Alexa on The Bmore Creatives team. With more humans supporting the community, we have a lot of exciting events and partnerships on the horizon. We want to keep pushing the limits on how we can support the creatives from all over Baltimore – the makers, the get sh*t done-ers, the people that make Charm City charming! If you haven’t heard of The Bmore Creatives, be sure to check us out on Instagram and our new website for more features, but also explore the hashtag #thebmorecreatives, where the real magic happens. Anyone and everyone can contribute to this and there are now over 130K posts of cool shit going on all around Baltimore.
How do you define success in your own life?
Being my own boss has truly redefined this for me over the past 2 years. I am a words of affirmation person, so up until 2 years ago, I was that nerd who loved performance reviews and craved hearing praise from her boss. I’ve been lucky that I have had so many amazing humans as managers and mentors who truly have had my best interests top of mind and encouraged me to find more creative roles. But in turning to others to define my success, I was often left feeling unfulfilled and frustrated.
I thought the solution was simple, become my own boss! But once I was on my own, I didn’t know where to turn for clues that I was on the right path professionally and creatively. To answer this, I took time to map out my values, my goals, and what kind of life I want to live. I literally wrote it all down and I now revisit it when I feel overwhelmed, bummed, or simply in need of inspiration. I feel good when I see all that I have accomplished and even more so, how I’ve evolved as human and a business owner. While I leave room for these goals to change and to pivot as a business, this practice is a way for me to know what I am working on aligns with what I want out of life. For me that is quality time with quality people, the flexibility to respect my energy ebbs and flows, the ability to follow what sparks my creativity, and helping others do the same. If I can earn a living while achieving these things, that would be success for me.
What advice would you give to another woman who was seeking a life she deemed as successful?
Question the standards that society sets. It is quite possible these have falsely shaped what you think success looks like and may not actually align with what you want. I would suggest seeking ways to reflect and learn more about yourself, you may not have a big ah-ha moment, but you’ll continue to pick up breadcrumbs on your way. Start writing it all down – from your values to your goals to simply what gets you out of bed in the morning.
And for those moments when you find yourself in that social media rabbit hole, where you’re inevitably comparing yourself to others and/or experiencing fomo, take a step back. These things others seem to have and seem to be experiencing, do you actually want them? 9/10 times I find I don’t actually.
Or maybe you do want those things, but instead of getting bummed, start thinking about what steps you could take to get there, wherever there is for you.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far?
Don’t let fear take the steering wheel. Sometimes fear comes to me as procrastination, a weird form of self-sabotage. A lot of times fear will tell me all of the things that could go wrong, inviting in it’s good friend, anxiety, for the ride. Often my fear comes forth as perfectionism. As Elizabeth Gilbert shared in Big Magic, “perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it’s just terrified.” And perhaps the most unfortunate of all, fear encourages us to point out the flaws in others. I now know these signs and refuse to let my fears drive my decisions. It’s easier said than done, but I’m trying.
All images © Rachel King, 2018