I don’t give a crap what your dream is.

I don’t give a crap what your dream is.  

Does that sound funny coming from someone who is always telling you to go after your dreams?  

It’s the truth.

Maybe your dream is to own a studio like mine someday.  I think a lot of people visit our studio for a workshop and a lightbulb goes off.  “Maybe I DON’T want a huge studio to manage.  Maybe I don’t want a staff.  Maybe I don’t want to run a big business.  Maybe what I have is enough.”  The truth is, as a teacher, I’m not teaching you to go after MY dream (although I do tell you exactly how you can), I’m teaching you to go after your dream.  You have the answers within yourself.  I just give you the tools to get there.

Maybe we share the same dream.  Great.  Maybe your dream is to have a small home studio.  Maybe it is to shoot one session a month at sunset on a beach.  Maybe it is to be a stay at home mom and blog your kids.  Maybe you want to be a Youtube sensation, an internet millionaire, a master of Iphonography.  Maybe you want to be a second shooter.  Or a hairdresser who takes photos on the weekends.  Perhaps you want to teach workshops.  Perhaps you want to photograph children’s birthday parties.  Perhaps you want to devote your time to charity.  

Whatever your definition of success is, it’s enough.  

Whatever your dream is, it’s enough.  

The fact is, we’re blessed to even have these choices.  Even if you are stuck in a career situation you’d rather not be, or your photography isn’t quite at the place that you dream of, you can still choose to be happy with right where you are.  You can learn and work on your craft just because you freakin’ like photography.  You are no more and no less of a photographer than any one else out there.  You are no more or less successful.  You are no more or less of a person.  The love we all share for photography is the same.  Who’s to judge your place in it all?  

Here is a photo I took with my Digital Rebel and a Macro Filter when I first “took up” digital photography back in 2005.  


Was I less of a photographer then?  Was I not enough because I didn’t have my 10,000 dollar camera and million dollar studio?  Wasn’t all of my potential and passion and talent already inside of me when I laid out those blueberries and photographed them for hours?   

When you come across another photographer who makes you feel like you are somehow less than them, close the screen, turn your cheek and never go back.  Choose not to look.  I gave up that type of stuff a while ago.  Drama is like crack.  Very addictive.  Pass that pipe right along sista’, we’re not into that stuff here!

I think it’s time that we celebrate each other for our different choices.  For pursuing our own paths, whatever they are.  There isn’t one way to run a business, there isn’t one way to be successful, and there certainly isn’t one way to be happy.  Anyone who tries to sell you something different is, well, just full of crap.

So, yes, I don’t give a crap what your dreams are.  I think you’re awesome anyway. 

xo, Heidi


What do you think about all of this crap?  Tell me about it in the comments below!!

21 Responses

  1. Cristy

    You are awesome. Not only do I love your work but I want to thank you for your encouraging words. I do know there is always plenty to learn but I often feel like someone is passing me that “crack pipe”. Thank you again!! I

    I LoVe PhoToGraPhy!

  2. Kathy

    Well said! There is so much negativity out there and you are right, it is like a drug that gets bigger the more you feed it!
    That’s why I appreciate all that you share with us. You certainly are an inspiration to me. Not just your knowledge but your sweet and bubbley
    personality. That is why I follow your blog and keep coming back again and again.

  3. Whitney

    Love this post (and you’re right no comments are crappy!) I don’t follow many photographers, but I follow you. I found your site when I was researching workshops. Your work is amazing, but I keep coming back for you. I love that you are confident enough in who you are and what you do that you don’t mind sharing with others. But, what I love most of all is that you are uplifting and supportive.

  4. Felicia

    Thanks for the post:) It’s uplifting, we must remember our dreams:) My dream is to have a studio like yours one day! For now, I want to focus on making my tiny in home studio a success! I would also hope to attend one of your workshops in 2015 as soon as I can get the down payment together 🙂

  5. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I am still plugging away to be the photographer that I really want to be. It’s hard not to compare yourself with others or feel like you are worth less than others too.

    1. Heidi Hope

      I know the feeling Linda! We all do it! Even the people you are comparing yourself to. They are probably comparing themselves to someone else. It’s human nature. But use it to fuel your passion not to knock your dreams!

  6. Thank you again for your pearls of wisdom and humor that always seem to come at just the right time! Looking forward to “seeing” you tomorrow on FAQ Friday 🙂

  7. I absolutely agree. I just want to be me. I also looked at other photographers and I would get so depressed because I would think, wow, I will never be that good or I would think, what in the world, that photographer is awful but making a great living, what are her/his clients thinking, what am I doing wrong!? (I know, that is not nice, but just trying to be honest!) This part still gets me because I am still struggling to really get a steady stream of good paying clients. But I have learned I have to block that out and concentrate just on me and my thoughts and what my dream is and to stop comparing myself to others. This part is tricky because there are always those people who try to tell you what you should be doing or shooting or how much you should or shouldn’t charge. I am slowly learning to shut it all out and just concentrate on being me and making me the best I can be.

  8. Andie H.

    I love you, Heidi! This was exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m a stay-at-home mom to 2 & 3 year old boys. I love photography, but I have limited time and money, so I shoot whenever I can (high noon sometimes, yikes!) on a crappy camera and I edit in PSE with mostly actions (gasp!). My photos aren’t the beautiful open field images taken during the golden hour that I’d love to have. But I do my best to make what I do shoot as beautiful as possible. I belong to a wonderful online forum that sometimes makes me feel ashamed that I edit with actions and sometimes have a limb-chop here and there. I’ve had to take a hiatus from that forum and am focusing on more positive places for inspiration….and you’ve won me over! I’ve been a fan of your work for a long time now, but recently I’ve come to adore all that is Heidi Hope. Please keep doing what you do, many of us out here need your positive vibes & sound advice so badly! You just rock:)

  9. Perfectly said! I couldn’t agree more. I have always said that my dream is unique. It’s not for everyone. And just because I don’t want to be a ‘celebrity’ or well known photographer doesn’t mean I can’t be successful. Because I choose what success is for me. <3 The being human part is what makes me have to keep reminding myself of that. So thanks for the reminder.

  10. Wow.. This is a great blog! I struggle all the time with others who have bigger, better, etc. But I get told I have the eye. Only recently did I upgrade to a pro DSLR, and yes, there are even more pro models out there, and more expensive lenses, but I am trying. I use what I have. I have people ask me all the time if I have this prop or that prop, and my answer is no. I carry my studio in the trunk of the car, and there is only so much room. I would love to have a room in a house dedicated to my stuff, so I don’t have to lug it around everywhere. But we live in a very small apartment, and it’s not possible. I have so much more to learn, and maybe one day, a little studio in a home will be achieved. Also, I always get told I am not charging enough. Well, I am doing what I love. the smiles are payment for me. The sheer JOY I get from taking a family picture for someone who normally would never have done it had they had to pay… Well, I created a moment for them to keep forever. So what if my payment was a hug, smile, and thank you?

  11. Michelle

    I love the fact that you are real and put honesty out there. We have this jaded misconception that super successful photographers didn’t have a struggling period. Your constant reminders through your blog and video messages – that the struggle is the real deal – are super cool. It’s way more motivational than the fluff most are peddling these days!

    1. Heidi Hope

      Thank you so much Michelle! It is hard freakin’ work… but it is so rewarding too! Isn’t everything great in life that way?!

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