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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: Follow your heart.
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Oct 3, 2008

Follow your heart.

Growing up, I thought I was going to be an architect. I know, random, right?

As a little girl, I would sit in my room and design floorplans for fun. I took three years of drafting classes in high school learning AutoCad and designing "real" floorplans and even won awards for my elaborate luxury homes. There was something about piecing together the rooms of a house that I loved... to me, it was like a giant puzzle, and the challenge of putting it all together, something like that.

I grew up a Seminole fan, but attended the arch rival school UF, home of the Gators, to attend their school of architecture. I did well, but after a year, I began calling it archi-torture and my heart broke as I realized, maybe I wasn't meant to be an architect.

The summer after Freshman year, I did a lot of soul searching as I debated switching my major. I had no idea what I wanted to pursue, but I knew I loved taking photos, and like floorplans, piecing together a story of photos designing elaborate scrapbooks. I discovered UF had a major in magazine journalism, and to me, I saw that as an advanced form of scrapbooks, marrying photos and written word.

So I pulled my mom into my room to tell her the scary news.

"I'm going to change my major," I nervously told her. A part of me felt like I was letting her down, and it has always meant so much to me to have my parents proud of everything I did. "I'm considering switching it to magazine journalism, but I'm scared to because I know journalists don't make a lot of money, so I don't know if daddy will approve."

And my mom said something that changed my life.

"Don't pursue something for the money. Follow your heart and do what you love and you will FIND a way to make money at it."

To my surprise, my dad was also very supportive when I broke the news to him following. That's when I learned how much he hated his job but only worked hard to provide me the kind of life he never had. He wanted just as much for me to me follow my heart and find a career I loved getting up in the morning for.

And there is no greater joy than being in that place now as a photographer. What made me think of all this was calculating yesterday, whoa, I made more in the past two months than I made in a whole YEAR at my former corporate job. My journalism degree led me to graphic design and while my corporate job served as a great starting point for a post-college job, I knew deep in my heart that I was destined for more. Not just for more money, but in maximizing the gifts God has given me to serve in the lives of others documenting their most cherished memories... because to me, that's truly where the real riches are.

So whatever your heart's desire is, whether it be photography or something else non-related, I encourage you to take my mom's advice too! Getting the opportunity to do what you love is the greatest paycheck of all!

And in how things come back around full circle sometimes, I found out this week that my photography was published in another magazine! Elegant Island Living Weddings magazine is a luxury magazine in Southern Georgia. Not only was I published in their current issue, but for the next issue, they are using one of MY photos for their COVER!!! Woo hoo! How exciting! Here's the design that is on its way to the printer and the current issue showcase of one of my Jamaica trash the dress pics from earlier this year!





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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sweet story! I too am having my doubts about corporate work! I have always wanted to be a hair dresser, but the fear of not making as much as I do now is the constant struggle! Maybe one day I too will take the leap of faith and "change my major" to HAIR!!!!!!

Congrats on your success! You are truly an inspiration!

Annie-Nashville

October 3, 2008 at 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Gin(ger) said...

I LOVE this publication. Where I work part time in Brunswick, it is dropped off to distribute to our members. I will anxiously be awaiting the next delivery! Way to go Scarlett!!

October 3, 2008 at 9:10 AM  
Anonymous kayla :) said...

Wow Scarlett that is some awesome news!!! I love your moms words of wisdom - those are definitely great words to live by!!

October 3, 2008 at 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Kristen Wheeler said...

Great post Scarlett, CONGRATULATIONS! Great words of wisdom too, I really need to live by that as well. Ia m stuck in the corporate world right now myself trying to get out and just do what i love. =)

Love Kristen

October 3, 2008 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Gwendolyn Tundermann Photography said...

I have to laugh because I can totally relate! I ended high school thinking I would be an engineer of some sort, then went into college as a music vocal performance major. Then when I realized I probably wouldn't be able to make a career as an opera singer I changed to political science. All of those experiences influence our lives and who we are, but in the end you have to reflect on whether you are realizing your self actualization. That may not necessarily mean going into business for oneself, but at the very least everyone should make time to do the things they enjoy.

Great topic! : )

October 3, 2008 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Shannon Williams said...

Scarlett I am so happy for YOU! The cover is gorgeous, I remember seeing this pic on your former website, it's beautiful. I absolutely agree that we should "follow our passion" and the money will come. That is my plan and photography is my passion. I start classes on Monday. I'm going to be a total nerd and go through my books this weekend. Hee Hee. I'm so excited. Isn't life wonderful?!

October 3, 2008 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Scarlett,
Congradulations, I am so happy for you! Your mom is a smart lady and those words are something to always live by. I've told my children to follow their heart and passion and not to let anything stop them. Your post today is so uplifting because even though I'm older (40 and fabulous) and haven't really discovered what I want to be when I grow up, hehe.
I really do believe that God is giving me a chance to figure this out, I'm unemployed right now and the job market just doesn't have much to offer but, I do know that photography has always been a great passion along with my first love of music. I always thought I would write music and along with my poetry write the beautiful songs that went along with it.
I have went up to SPC and now I'm trying to figure out what I want to do..any suggestion? I do know that I want to take a writing class. I want to be able to write beautiful post from the heart also.
When will the magazine be out and be available to get my hands on one!!!
Woo Hoo!!!!

October 3, 2008 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

This post is wonderful - it brought tears to my eyes! My mother has also repeatedly told me the same thing, that you can make money doing virtually anything... that if you love it, you will work hard enough to make it happen. Thanks for the uplifting post and congrats on being published!!

October 3, 2008 at 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Caroline Ghetes said...

Hi Scarlett! I love your story because it is something I strongly believe in too. My parents never supported me wanting to be a photographer, and I am so happy that I chose to go my own may (with the support of the best husband in the entire universe). I don't look at being a photographer as a job or career. I look at it as never having to work a day for the rest of my life. Because when you are doing something you love, it never feels like "work", and getting paid for it is a huge bonus. LOL!

October 4, 2008 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Bowdren Photography said...

Oh Scarlett that is wonderful news! You have become so accomplished! I think that your mother changed my views upon delivering that advice too... and is contributory to where I am at right now. You're so awesome! Can't wait to see the magazine!

October 4, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Nichole Johnson said...

Congrats Scarlett, that is awesome I am so happy for you, thanks for sharing:)

October 4, 2008 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger April Hollingsworth said...

The way we view work is a generational thing. In the 70s, people were hired for their physical ability, now they are hired for their brain, generally speaking. A lot of people assume that hating their job is normal. But I encourage anyone reading this who wanting something more to read Dan Miller's book, 48 Days to the Work You Love. It will change your entire outlook on "work."

October 5, 2008 at 3:44 AM  
Blogger Rachel S. said...

God is so good! What an inspiration...and what a privelege watching you grow through the years...and watching me grow too, hehe.

See you next time!

October 6, 2008 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Sir David Esquire said...

Hey Scarlett!

I'm soooo totally glad that there is someone out there that feels entirely the same way. "If you build it, they will come" - sort of thing. But only you're following your heart.

I've been going back to my roots & having many "Jerry Maguire" moments as I call them continuing to keep our focus on our hearts & not so much on our pocketbooks.

Also... UBER CONGRATS on the cover!!!!! I'm so happy and excited for you! Three Cheers for Scarlett!

Cheers! Cheers! Cheers!

David Esquire
Esquire Photography
www.esquirephotography.com

October 6, 2008 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Glad I could help inspire so many of you!

October 8, 2008 at 2:07 PM  

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The images on this blog are the property of Scarlett & Stephen Photography. Images may not be reprinted without the permission of Scarlett Lillian.
However, you are welcome to use them for personal web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, etc with the link back to this blog, and keeping the logo on the photo. If you would like to use the images for any other purpose, please contact Scarlett Lillian at scarlett@scarlettlovesstephen.com. Thanks!

Jacksonville Senior Portrait Photographer also serving Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine, Amelia Island, Orange Park, Fernandina, Nocatee.
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