A few days ago, one of my friends mentioned she would like to frame a picture I took of her and her son. They modeled for one of my portfolio-building projects when I was first starting. At home, I dug through my archives to find the original images I gave her. The originals show some of my strengths: a strong sense of composition, use of back-lighting, and okay (though not perfect) use of background.
They also show a lack of some of the things I would eventually acquire through the years: better lenses and camera equipment, more advanced understanding and use of light, and professional Photoshop editing skills. Just for fun, I re-edited a couple of the shots to where I was comfortable with their quality. I don't know which one she'll frame, but I think either will look wonderful!
When I first started as a photographer, I knew I had an eye for it, and I loved making those images for families. I knew I could learn the rest. And I have, and I am still learning. It's a vital part of my growth in this business.
I've also realized how much teaching contributes to my love of this art. So, as this year unfolds, I'm looking forward to holding more DSLR and point-and-shoot camera workshops as well as online/phone and in-person mentoring sessions with aspiring photographers. I've come a long way, and I've been in the same spot as those beginning and intermediate photographers. I'm excited to guide them in their journey.