Tooting Your Own Horn

by | Aug 28, 2017

For some people, it’s as natural as breathing to talk about their passion. It seamlessly fits into every conversation and they become known for the thing they do.
For the rest of us, though, it feels like we automatically become a used car salesman if we try to mention what we love to do.

(Case in point: My children have been taking music lessons privately for 2 1/2 years. A few months ago I mentioned that I was going to teach a photography course. She had no idea I took pictures!)
There really is someplace in the middle for the rest of us.

I need to be completely honest here. This is something I’m working on myself right now. I don’t have all the answers.

But I also feel really strongly that it is important for people who know us to know what drives us. Dancers need to dance. But if people don’t know you’re a dancer, they’ll never give you those opportunities to dance. And you never know who might have a connection that could change everything!

Here are some subtle ways I’ve come up with to let people know what drives me (some days that means photography. Other days it means dancing.)

  • t-shirts with fun dance-related phrases (I have one that says “Dancers Are Always On Pointe” that I wear all the time)
  • fun travel mugs (I have one like this. It freaks me out to see “my lens” in the sink, but I love it)
  • Looking for opportunities to mention something about taking pictures. Not in an obnoxious way, but when it’s a natural thing to include.

I don’t start with “My name is Charla and I’m a dance photographer. Do you know anyone I could take pictures of?” but somehow I ended up with a conversation with a realtor at an open house, and 5 minutes after “how do you do” I was telling her about my Always A Dancer project and recruiting her into it. It was truly authentic, though. (when someone says “I’ve been dancing since I was 3. It never leaves you!” it would be inSANE not to follow up with the project about THAT VERY THING!)

I would love more suggestions for this list. What else can I do, or what do you do, that introduces your passion in a genuine way? Share your thoughts on Facebook or Instagram!