When I first began storytelling, I offered my services literally to anything I felt passionate about. These shots are from so long ago, when my children were tiny and we crossed the Mexico border often to visit friends. There was a clinic in one of the barrios there offering aid to those that needed it the most. At the time I didn’t know all the stories I was capturing, and what they might mean to people later on. All of these photos were prior to our friend having his daughter taken from him at the border at the hands of our own government through refugee resettlement services, long before separation of families was a widely known and common thing. It was before to all the infighting between the the drug cartels, and before we started parking stateside and literally walking across the bridge to be picked up when it became too dangerous for us to drive ourselves. I met and cherish every face and every story. At the time, I wanted to learn, and I imagined it would be more fulfilling if I started asking others to let me cover their work, build their stories, and slowly, over time, it became my work. Not everyone may have the option to offer services while they’re learning, but if you love what you do, it shows up in the ways you are willing to sacrifice, engage in the craft, and the ways you earn your value in all the hard work, crazy hours and willingness to put it all out there for the world to see, even before you feel it’s ready.

It takes a long time to build a business (or life) you’re proud of. But it happens every day. Ever moment. It takes energy, and perseverance, and failure and a willingness to try things differently. It’s always moving, and never really arriving. It’s a lot like character. And maybe just like the story in the bible about the oil in the lamps of women waiting for the bridegroom. You can’t get the oil for your lamps at the last minute or from someone else. Everything you do, what you think about, what you practice will build on what you’re becoming. We get really good at what we practice. It’s humbling, fortifying, and beautiful. There’s nothing safe about a passionate life. It is, in fact, unsafe, often unsettling, and so so worth it. Whether side hustle, or full timer, or even simply remembering to do something you love each day, or saying I love you often, I hope you get really good at something that matters.

So, what are you practicing?