It was nice to hear from Jennifer Causey today, as I’ve followed her work since the beginning when she was just a wee budding New York based photographer and now she’s working for clients like Chronicle Books, Real Simple, Anthropologie and Time Out NY to list only a few. She just opened a pop up shop for the season to feature the work of some of her favorite photographers who do not sell their work elsewhere, Molly Wizenberg (New York), Brian Ferry (London, I recently wrote about him here), Shari Altman (Vermont), and Laina Briedis (New York), along with her own Simply Breakfast 2010 calendar.
Looking back in my blog archives, I found this post back from the summer of 2006 where I praised her work. It was fun to go back and read that… And it made me realize that so many of us built our careers before an audience of people online and how supportive and wonderful this community really is. I mean, think of your favorite bloggers — especially the big ones. Did you know about them before they started their blog? Most likely not. And most likely, they were not even in their current profession back before their blog launched. It’s so interesting to follow one another around online and to witness this growth. This, to me, is why blogs will always be different from a magazine. In a magazine, you see ONLY the best work. The pruned, the stuffed, the polished… And a lovely flipside too but…
Online it’s a different world. You see the not-so-polished become polished over the course of months, years even. You witness the birth of new names, watch their success grow, and then attend their book signings. Go back to some of your favorite blogs and find their very first post. Read a few posts from their first 6 months blogging. You will get a different version of the person you know today — maybe less secure, more vulnerable, a bit afraid even… I think this is a great reminder that we all start somewhere, usually at ground level, and build and build until we reach higher grounds. And then we build some more. On a macro level, it’s why we love Oprah and others in the spotlight who grew due to their supportive fan base. And on a micro level, it is why we love some of our favorite bloggers who are moving on to explore other avenues or who, like Jennifer, are opening up pop shops to support her friends — photographers that she believes in. Jennifer is such a rock star.
It’s exciting and motivating to consider all of this, don’t you think? And I think it is inspiring to new bloggers and those just entering creative fields for the first time to focus on this fact: Everyone had a first moment in this community so if you feel scared or unsure please don’t. If you’ve ever looked at someone else and their success and thought, “Why Bother?” then I encourage you — yes, bother! Muster up the courage and do your thing. Go for it. We all deserve a place and for those who jump in a go for it, you’ll find it. Don’t worry. :)
(images: simply photo)