Pacific Northwest Photographer |


Encouraging others and exploring oneself





a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness.

 "do not give in to discouragement"


This week I have found myself down. Gazing out frozen windows feeling a little down in the dumps. I went from a busy booked fall/winter to nothing... Mentally it is hard because I was on a go-go regimen to being still. Being ridiculously busy feels amazing, and I operate best on chaos.
Discouragement and unrealistic goals are my enemies! When starting out a new business being rich and having 100K unbought followers on Instagram just doesn't happen. More than often the first three years you will lose money. Being born into a family with a ridiculous amount of money helps too, but for most of us, it just doesn't work like that. Our only option is to work our F*&king a$$es off in hopes to stay afloat. 

Now let me tell you something about myself and my personality. For those who believe in the horoscopes; I am a Gemini.  I crave new, exciting things and despise being bored. I am easily distracted and extremely indecisive. I also have two personalities, and I do not wish this Gemini trait on to my future child {yes just one child}. I love who I am, but I do struggle with discouragement a lot. I feel things are never good enough and that there is always a better way. I need very intellectual facts to believe your advice, and even then I will probably research the shit out of it until I feel what I am learning is beneficial to be repeated or trusted. This is the "not good enough & ZERO F*&%ing compassion" personality.  You will not see me shed a tear if you tell me the most f&*ked up story about how your parents died, and I always show zero emotions if a patient dies on me. I am always cool, calm and collective. I will hurt your feelings because I won't kiss your ass and say what you want me to. I speak without thinking 24/7, and I can be cold, blunt and plain rude. In my mind feeling and showing emotions is dumb and pointless; It just makes realistic situations worse. I want to show compassion and emotions, but I fight a battle in my head daily not to. Is it the fear of showing weakness or is it the realistic situations of life that I don't find necessary to show emotions. I tell myself that I can't change death so why to be upset over it. I can't control your insecurities, mistakes, fears so why feed them. I have a flaw, and that is showing compassion... I am working on it.

I can write about who I am because I am honest with myself. I know how I am and I don't get along with most others because of my realistic/forward way of thinking. Others need the daily emotional uplifting which I can't give them. It is hard finding other personalities that can relate or understand me. Most take everything very personal and get offended easily.

Starting a business with these qualities is hard. When things slow down, discouragement starts and the need to get something exciting to happen again pokes at me. Gemini's work best when things are heated and on fire. We are an air sign, and we fuel the fire; fire needs us. I feel balanced in life when it is busy and not stale. This month has been extremely tough. Oregon received ridiculous amounts of snow. It has been miserably cold, and the last thing I want to do is go outside and take pictures.  Living in Oregon is a love & hate relationship. I am not a huge adventurous person, and I don't necessary love being outdoors. I don't love hiking, boating, rafting or biking. I would rather spend the day in my house with the windows open playing Coldplay, cleaning my house and hanging out my husband. I enjoy cooking and sitting outside in my hammock trying to read a book. Winter sucks for me because often I feel like I need to defrost my body and search for the sun. So when I see on my Instagram all these amazing outdoor winter pictures I get jealous. I want to take those!

Since it has been slow, I started to find myself blowing off things. I missed a blog entry last week. I started to write, but then I let my discouraging thoughts get to me and I didn't write. That is the downside to being a practical person is that you tend to see the negative a lot! We don't live in a positive world and I envy people who can see the positive in everything because I do not. I battle the ropes of depression often even though It looks like I am the happiest person in the world! When things are slow, I just have to stay busy and always remind myself to keep going and ignore my views. 

So what is my point to this? Starting out anywhere is tough and discouraging. I tend to dig deeper into things, and I realize that these feelings of discouragement are more within my personality and not my business. If your feeling low and discourage maybe you should take a step back and analyze yourself. Your expectations shouldn't be to have constant bookings starting out or to have massive friend requests. Ask yourself why do you feel discouraged? Why didn't you write your last blog? Why did you give up all of a sudden? More than likely it will be because you let it. It wasn't others stopping you; it was you. Practice on pushing yourself and push through your feelings of giving up. It is just a stage your soul is going through. The days you just don't want to do it, or you can't see the point are the days that have the most fuel. Compassion will pour out onto your blogs and IG posts because they will reflect your anger, passion and have more meaning than a regular day with no conflicts. Last week I posted a picture on IG of a car fading away as it moved forward. It was a more symbolic meaning to me than others noticed. As photographers, we are artists and capture expressions, and they do not just have to be through people. This car disappeared and dissolved as it moved forward. I was in a dark place when I posted it, and the picture represented how I felt that day. Artists tend to take their emotions to the canvas and paint with blacks, deep purples or red to express anger and sadness. Photographers can capture these same feelings with photos. I am one of those people who could stare at art for hours analyzing what that artist was feeling when he created his work. Everything has a meaning behind it and I like to feel and search for that meaning. I want to feel understood when I create and I know that the artist behind the canvas would want me to search for his reasoning rather than just "ooohhh and aww" over how pretty it is. Every stroke with the brush is an opening to a door that he/she is trying to let you into. 

{Fake it till you make it} People on Instagram don't know whether or not you're booked out full or not. Just because your not book doesn't mean you failed. Keep posting your pictures, keep writing your blogs and soon enough people will start filling your schedule and opportunities will arise. Don't let your mind go down! Find something to keep you up and cocaine isn't something I would recommend for your "UP." Stick with what you have going and be consistent. Your business will benefit and paint its own canvas for others to embark on.


CHEERS to our journey in our businesses and Cheers to not giving up!


Sami Costelow