My People, Your People

Years ago, my boyfriend, who is now my husband, and I had a Halloween party. We spent days preparing for it. We searched high and low for Barbie dolls, so we could have ‘Barbie Doll’ punch. Yep, we threw a bunch of naked Barbie Dolls in a vat of punch. Okay, to be honest they weren’t actual Barbie Dolls. We lived in Cayman at the time, and legitimate Barbie Dolls were hard to come by, and even if we did find the real thing, they would’ve been outrageously expensive. You know, duty and shipping and all that…..look, I’m already off track…..anyway, we bought a bunch of fake Barbies, which is not at all the point of the story. We also bought a fog machine, cat litter pan and scoop, more on that later, lots of cobwebbing, white sheets to cover all the furniture so we could throw fake blood all over them, booze of all varieties, chicken feet, yes, real chicken feet…they’re a dime a dozen there, face masks, fake blood, and on and on and on. You get the picture. We bought a LOT of stuff and spent way too much money. 

{ABOVE: Part of our spread of food. Why did we need the cat pan and scoop? Because we made cat poop litter cake. Yep, it's completely edible!!!! Looks WAY too real and we grossed out most of our guests, but lets just say it was the talking point of the night.}

 

We also spent many hours preparing for what we thought would be the Halloween party of the century.  Hunting down the things we thought we needed took hours upon hours of time. Just try finding things you take for granted in the US on a tiny island. It’s not an easy task. We prepped days in advance and were highly anticipating having the greatest, most fun party ever! We invited all of our friends, well in advance, and told them to bring whoever they wanted, or is it whomever? Whatever, an English major I was not.

 

Fast forward to the evening of the party. We had invited a LOT of people, but only a few people showed up at the allotted seven o’clock. Both my husband and I were completely and utterly crestfallen. We had put so much time and energy into this evening, we couldn’t believe not many people came. We had all the lights out in our condo with a scary movie playing on repeat. We parked ourselves on the couch in front of the TV and proceeded to sulk and bemoan the fact that ‘no one’ was there. I think we actually even said that. ‘No one came.’  Well, one of my best friends, who was one of the maybe six or seven people there, heard us and promptly gave us a stern talking to. I don’t remember her exact words, but basically she said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Stop acting like a couple of babies. What about all of us? WE’RE here! Focus on us!” To say that we were completely shamed is an understatement. It’s still fresh in both mine and my husband’s mind and I have a terrible memory, so needless to say it made a huge impression on me.  Big learning moment there and it’s stayed with me and I’m sure it’ll always stay with me. A BIG thank you to my beautiful, tells it like it is, friend Rho for setting us straight.

My amazing, straight talkin' friend Rho

My amazing, straight talkin' friend Rho

We immediately came to our senses and ended up having a great time. Come to find out, most everyone else showed up later anyway. We all worked in the service industry and most people had to work in the evening, so a lot of people came after they got off work. Silly us, acting the way we did, for a multitude of reasons!

 

What does this story have to do with photography? A lot actually. Being an artist, any kind of artist, and putting yourself out there isn’t an easy thing. I don’t have one friend that’s an artist that thinks it’s easy, whether they’re a crafter, a singer, a designer, a painter, whatever. It takes guts to put work out there. It’s part of you. It feels like baring your soul to an extent, for others to judge. When you’re selling your artwork, you’re selling a piece of yourself. It’s not a third party product that you can distance yourself from and not take it personally if someone doesn’t like it. It’s an extension of yourself, of who you are. So the point of this post is to say, don’t worry about people that don’t get you or don’t like you or are even unaware of your existence. Focus on YOUR people. They’re there! Love them. Spoil them. Thank them for supporting you in whatever way they do, whether it’s liking and commenting on social media posts, emailing you, or purchasing art from you. Your people are out there, I promise you, and so are mine!  So lets not focus on the people that either don’t like us or don’t even know we exist. It’s easy to look around and say, I don’t have enough people following me on FB or IG. I want more. I need a bigger audience. Pay attention to the ones that ARE there, not the ones that aren’t, and I guarantee you, more will come. Your people will eventually find you if you love what you do, are passionate about it and you put yourself out there for the world to see.

 

I recently listened to a great podcast from IVY: The Social University.  They interviewed Tim Urban and he had some really interesting things to say. In a nutshell, there are about 3 billion people on the internet, and 2/3rds or maybe half of those people speak English, so you potentially have billions of people at your fingertips. Even if 99% of those people don’t get you, that still leaves millions of people that probably do! And maybe only one in a thousand of those people REALLY get you, but that’s still a whole lot of people, so don't despair, there are thousands upon thousands of people out there that love exactly what you do and are just as weird as you. 

 

We LOVE Halloween or really any reason to get dressed up or be creepy.....here are a few photos to prove it.