28 Days of Celebrating Thanks – Day 3 – An Uplifting Person

I’m joining in with Champagne to Crayons and other bloggers in the 28 Days of Celebrating Thanks. Day 1 was featured on the Pics By Chicks Photography blog here, Day 2 was on our personal blog site – tonyandmaura.com

Now…Day 3 — A person that lifts you up!

I could take the easy route and say my husband or my mother or my most fabulous sister, Megan, but I won’t.  In this 28 days, I’m being real open and honest.  If people read it, great – you get to know more about me & my history.  If people don’t read it, well, then I’ll continue to live in my shell! 🙂

Here it goes….remember, I’m being honest and open.

I had a real problem with confidence.  So much so that at the beginning of our photography journey I was turning down jobs!  YES, that’s right – I said NO to paying (and even non-paying) photography jobs.  I wasn’t confident I could deliver a quality product to my potential client, and I couldn’t deal with the stress that was consuming me.  I was constantly comparing myself to other photographers that I follow and wondered why my photos didn’t look like theirs.   I’m happy to report that much has changed since those early days … I’m confident in my work now and know that I’m on the right path with my photography.  And, while I struggled with this confidence early on during our first few jobs, my clients never knew and would consistently tell me that they loved our photos and were very pleased with our work!  The lack of confidence was something inside ME…I was delivering nice clean photos….but this unrealistic idea of perfection was destroying me.  DESTROYING ME!

A big part of the current “transformed confident Maura” (as I like to call her) comes from my mentor, Heather Lahtinen of WeddingsByHeather.com.  I’ve been studying with Heather for almost a year now, and she’s changed my whole outlook on my abilities and my life in general.  I meet with her once a week to talk photography…and life.  Every single session she uplifts me, encourages me, gives me guidance, keeps me going on my path.  Without her place in my life I wouldn’t be where I am at this moment.  I needed her encouragement and I’m thankful that God brought us together.

Everyone needs someone like Heather.  A constant champion in your court.  Someone yelling from the sidelines, “YOU GOT THIS!  YOU CAN DO THIS!”  That’s what I get from Heather every week.  There are times I come to her and just cry.  She knows exactly what to say.  And, I’m sure she can attest that it took a lot of coaching of me to feel the way I feel now (I still had confidence issues 4 months into our mentoring) but her spirit has pushed me forward, her BELIEF in me kept me going.  I’m forever grateful to her for everything she has done for me.  I can’t say enough good things about her.  She should be famous for how much she puts out there to help people – guidance and business mentoring to other photographers, counselor to wives and mothers (she leads a Christ-centered marriage group) and [new to her list] a life coach! She continues to amaze me!  I hope that I can be the champion to others that she has been to me!

Thanks, Heather, for all you’ve done for me.  Words can’t even express how appreciative I am – you’re the best!

Here’s a photo Heather took of me – she did my hair & makeup too!!!

Pittsburgh Boudoir Photographer, Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

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