Rachel Jenae

What You’re Called To & What You’re Not

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I’ve been listening to two of my favorite photographers in an interview together while going about my normal routine at work (Jasmine Star and Chase Jarvis).  Jasmine is an incredible wedding photographer who has blown up incredibly fast in the last 4 years and Chase is a lifestyle-commercial photographer who I consider to be an incredible teacher in the field.  Listening to their stories and how they got to where they are today is incredibly inspiring, mainly because there has been no magic bullet for either of them.  It was just incredibly hard work, fighting days of doubt, overcoming screw-ups and prioritizing the vision they could see in front of them.  Both of them are incredibly vulnerable and if you visit Jasmine’s first blog that documents her early days of starting in photography you’ll see a girl who decided to skip out on a full ride to UCLA law school and go after something that moved her heart instead. 

As I continued to listen something hit me.  Something I’ve told many of my wedding photographer friends and that’s simply that weddings aren’t my thing.  Oh I love weddings and I don’t mind second shooting, but do I get excited about shooting a wedding and want to dedicate my life to that? Nope.  Only the idea of shooting in and of itself and capturing the beauty of the day sounds exciting.  Realizing what you’re NOT called to do is just as important as realizing what you ARE called to do. 

When it comes to photography for my life I have this vision that I can’t really fully express yet, because I don’t quite know it all.  All I know is what I do love and what I don’t.  The only problem is that I heard more than once in this interview is that if you shoot a bunch of stuff that you dont want to be shooting just for a paycheck, that is what you’ll get hired to shoot. You have to prioritize to actually be shooting what you want to be shooting, so that you actually have a portfolio so people can hire you to shoot what you really want to be shooting.  The same goes for any job.  I realized in the last two years at my current job that I am really good at being an administrative assistant.  I’m really organized, I can multi-task like nobody’s business, I can handle doing a lot of stuff and I like doing a variety of things, but I am not passionate about it.  But what happens is, that’s what I have a portfolio of doing, so that’s what I tend to keep doing.  I’m sure many people find themselves in the same place and honestly, it’s not wrong, it’s not even bad.  It’s a season of life that God ordained for growing, resting, equipping in other areas and at times you just trust He will use it all for your good. 

Lastly, I started thinking about when I first knew I wanted to be a photographer and the other night I remembered.  I got into photography slightly in high school shooting for the yearbook but three years later, finishing up bible school in Dallas, I still was leaning more towards graphic design.  It was the following summer of 2003 when I went on a trip overseas to visit the amazing people in Papa New Guinea and have my life forever changed that I got a glimpse of something God had planted in my heart.  Hearing their stories and seeing the simplicity of their lives, yet a richness unique only to them grabbed my heart in a way that set my life on a different course. This is what I love about photography!  The ability to capture in a second the stories that need to be told and memories for a lifetime! 

And then it was this little boy.  The village we were in got dressed in their native garb and put on a dance ritual for us.  Nothing less of incredible!  He was holding his mother’s hand singing as loud as his little lungs could in a language I couldn’t know, yet I felt I fully understood. He and so many young children we met have this great rich heritage and praying he’d make it to adulthood and not idolize America or hate us for not helping him more.

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