Challenge is a powerful word with so many meanings and implications. The dictionary defines it as both a noun and a verb. A challenge can be a call to take part in a competition or an invitation to engage in a contest, for example. Because I’m a small-business owner, I think challenge personifies me both personally and professionally. Let’s talk about challenges and challenging ourselves as professional photographers and entrepreneurs.
It is truly my honor and privilege to serve as president of PPA this year. Of course, I gladly accept this challenge and am looking forward to serving this great association and our membership. Shortly after I was nominated, I received an email from a photographer both congratulating me and asking if I was scared or worried about this leadership position. They asked me if I was comfortable putting myself out there, if I was concerned about being asked too many questions, what I would do if I didn’t have the answers. They reflected on the fact that 2020 had been a rough year, that their business was awful, that the morale of so many entrepreneurs was low, and on and on. You get the point. I understood their questions and concerns.
It’s important to my mental health and my business that I take the time I need to process the events of the past year and drag myself back to a productive and positive mindset. I know this can be easier said than done, but as challenging as it is, it’s doable.Mary Fisk-Taylor
The past year has been trying, especially for small-business owners. I’ve chosen to take this challenging time and make it as productive and positive as I can. Trust me when I tell you that I have yucky days like everyone else. Throughout my life I have cried a lot, been thoroughly discouraged, and gotten downright angry. But the past 12 months have found me exceeding my quota on negativity. However, it’s important to my mental health and my business that I take the time I need to process the events of the past year and drag myself back to a productive and positive mindset. I know this can be easier said than done, but as challenging as it is, it’s doable.
As professional photographers we are fortunate to be part of the world’s most amazing association that understands and addresses our needs. When was the last time you looked at all the amazing benefits and opportunities PPA offers us? The value of these benefits literally outpaces the cost of a year’s membership. PPA gives us opportunities to challenge ourselves as artists and business owners and to help us through challenging times in our creative process and day-to-day studio concerns.
Some of the PPA benefits that help me address the challenges I face:
Some of the PPA benefits that have challenged me to be more:
Challenge is a big word. It’s worth remembering that it is both a thing you might experience and an action you can take. Accept the challenges that come your way and maybe even challenge yourself to some new ones.
Mary Fisk-Taylor is the co-owner of Hayes & Fisk Photography in Richmond, Virginia.