NYC Boudoir Photography | I Made a Mistake

Recently, I made a mistake.

I didn’t know I was making it at the time. There wasn’t one clear moment of mistake making. It was more like an avalanche that started off small and gained momentum over some time. It wasn’t until I was faced with this big mess in front of me, that I realized the errors in my ways.

The big mess, well that was me (isn’t it usually). My mistake, was everyone else.

No, I am not blaming everyone else. I alone made the mistake. However it was because I was listening to everyone else.

To know anything about me is to know I always trust my gut, after all,  it’s always right.

My gut is a compass that always shows me the clearest direction. I’ve always listened to it, trusted it and been thankful for it. Sadly, the last few months, my compass has been off. When I think I am heading the right way, I’m not. When I look at the mess in the mirror, I ask the woman I see, “How did this happen?”.

I made a mistake. I let other peoples action, thoughts, opinions and comments confuse my direction. I’ve worked so hard to be on my path. My individual path. The one I have worked to identify and still continue to tweak. The path that I work so hard for and on. The one that sings to me and makes me feel whole and complete. I stepped off the damn path. Fuck.

It feels so off and icky, like turbulence on my insides. So today, I get back on the path. Holding true to me and what makes me happy and fulfilled. I made myself (the mess) that promise. To unmess myself. Listen to my gut and follow it again.

As a business owner, this is so important. We all need a reminder sometimes what we are working towards.

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This has happened to me before. Getting distracted by what others are doing. Trying to compete and not knowing my place. It wasn’t until I really stopped, and listened to what my gut really truly had to say that I found my uniqueness.

This industry, in fact this LIFE is not about competition. It’s about uniqueness. Stop trying to be like everyone else, and be YOU. That’s what clients, friends, loved ones WANT from you.

Ironically, it’s not easy to just be yourself. So I will forgive myself, and continue to remember that the journey itself is indeed the destination.

xo,

Jen

21 Comments

  1. Kate McFadzen on June 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    This was EXACTLY what I needed to wake up to this morning. As an emerging photographer, I struggle with following my own heart instead of comparing myself to the photographers around me (and there are maaaaaany). I try to rally myself and say it’s better to build a brand around who I am as a person, because I’ve found that really draws people. I often think “if I only had ____ that ____ has” or “maybe I should shoot more like ______”, etc. I need to focus on my heart compass more. It’s inspiring and comforting to know that even seasoned industry professionals that I look up to struggle with the same things. Jen, your work is amazing, and your CreativeLIVE Bootcamp changed my business. I’m truly grateful. Cheers!

    -Kate

  2. Joe on June 6, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Thank you for this. This turned around my whole month.

  3. Brenda White on June 8, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    signing up for the VIP and free guide. Thank uou

  4. Nicole on July 1, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I SO needed to hear this today! I finally know exactly what I do and don’t want to shoot and have my numbers in line; I’m on track to getting the right clients, clients that value my vision, and there are people, not my clients, telling me I should do this and do that and I’m too pricey. No way! I know what I want to do and I have value!
    Thanks for this wake up!

  5. Kim on July 1, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Love your honesty. I too have completely mucked up again. Causing myself so much self doubt. But it was exactly for the reasons you talk of – trying to be something that you’re not and feeling one has to go with what others keep saying. So I too will try to re believe in myself from today and follow what I know rather than what so many others are saying is the right path.
    Kim 🙂

  6. Shannon Davenport on July 1, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I always love your honesty…thanks for making me pause to think about my own path! 🙂

  7. Anna on July 1, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing Jen! Trusting our gut is a simple truth and it’s simple to not quite hear it when everyone else’s opinions/voices speak loudly. Luckily it’s also like riding a bike. We never forget how to do it. So get on and ride girl and thanks for reminding me it happens to us all.

  8. Graham Riddell on July 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Jen,

    If you’re honest with yourself and you know IF you made a mistake, then that’s always good. Publicly admitting it is brave (I don’t know the mistake you made?) but I would say the pass of progress is littered with mistakes. Trying to be everything can be a real challenge, but it makes you grow exponentially and makes you a bigger person -providing the same mistake are not repeated.

    This is YOUR journey and you allow others to share it so they just have to accept that.

    Best wishes
    Graham.

  9. Felicia on July 1, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Here’s to you Jen! Keep on keeping on. You are an inspiration. I love your honesty and how real you are. Thank you for being you,simple as that!

  10. Rachel on July 1, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Now I am intrigued, where were you heading?

  11. janice on July 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    thanks for this – nice to see I am not the only one who gets off track. it is so easy to compare the perfect facade that everyone presents with the incomplete insecure off track me, and when I do that I get even more off track. Really off track right now, and taking a sabatical from all of this to figure it out. but you piece helped. I know it will all come right, soon.
    janice

  12. Kira Wood on July 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I think you need to give yourself a break. As artists, I think it is natural to do this. I find myself continually loving my work, then seeing another persons work and flipping the page back and forth. Comparing mine to theirs. Seeing if mine flows how theirs flows or seeing what deal they are giving their clients. Pick yourself up and move on. As much as I love your work, I adore you even more. You are relateable in a way I have never found with other photographers. That trait alone is will never be replaceable.

    • Jen Rozenbaum on July 1, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you Kira! Love to you as well.

  13. Alicia Heaney on July 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Exactly my struggle! As a recent college grad I’ve spent so many years trying to please professors and change my style to accommodate their needs and style preferences for a good grade. I can’t wait to really push my business and work on my own with no influence but following my heart and my gut.

    • Jen Rozenbaum on July 1, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      You can do it!

  14. Jen on July 1, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Absolutely needed this today! It’s so easy to compete and compare and fall off your own path. THANK YOU for the reminder to BE ME! You’ve got this, Jen Rozenbaum! 🙂

  15. Gord Klimchuk on July 1, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I think we all fall into this trap. We look at other photographers’ work for inspiration, but instead we end up comparing our work to theirs. Then we think we have to change our work to be more like theirs to be successful. We then loose our own style and become “parrots” of other photographers. Instead of learning and improving our own work, we just copy the styles of others.

    Our journey should be our own road trip, not a bus tour. And anyone who can read a map and say “fuck” when they notice that they took a wrong turn, their journey will be the most enjoyable!

  16. Cate Scaglione on July 1, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Love you, love your honesty and love your fortitude. Love that you can recognize and re-steer the ship from those shallow, superficial waters. Because not all of us always can. This is a good reminder. xo

  17. Mandy on July 2, 2015 at 4:49 am

    I love your honesty. And that you embody your mission and message. It’s so darn relatable. How any times have I forged ahead with sails filled with the wrong wind. Only to crash and burn. And like a Phoenix, rise up, in my own weird private rebirth. I’m just grateful that you always seem to hold the lantern up ahead, show your bruises and lead by example. That is such a strong message. Whatever your mistake, it had to happen to bring you to know. And I’ve no doubt that you will continue on your path and do great things. xo

  18. Jules Ferlatte on July 24, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I wanted to thank you for this post for so long. I realy REALY need to understand and assimilante that.

    Thank you Jen

  19. Donnamaria on August 4, 2015 at 2:20 am

    You are in my head, Jen. Thank you for saying what I’m feeling.

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