So one of the most fun things I did this summer was cohost a radio show on AM with Jennifer Westby for six months, called "Motivational Happy Hour":
See, when Jen asked me if I wanted to be her cohost, I said "Yes!!" without hesitation. I'm trying to discover my voice....my method for supporting others in life, really. I love one-on-one talking...I mean that's probably my favorite, whether it's on Skype or in person. But I love to write, too. And now that I've started Photopantz and been working non-stop on that project for a full year now, I'm starting to feel more comfortable in the role as "Founder of Photopantz". Which, guess what, involves being more of a public representative, going to conventions, meeting tons of people, etc. It's VERY different than my role as a photographer. I don't know why. My goal is to become completely comfortable public speaking. But I'm a little freaked out at being on video. So when this radio gig came up, I was like "Sweet! As long as nobody's watching, I can totally pretend there's not thousands of people out there listening!" And no kidding, it worked. Jen and I were on the air 4 hours a month for six months, talking to guests who were fellow entrepreneurs, and just talking about life and generally trying to be entertaining. I learned I LOVE radio. I hope I get another chance to do it in the future.
If YOU ever get the chance to go to a radio station and be on the air would you please, for me, just DO IT?!! Yes, you might be a little freaked out your first time on air, but every single "newbie" who came on our show beamed afterwards about how it was MUCH more fun and less scary than they thought. And once they heard themselves back in archive, they noted how they sounded better than they thought they did while they were doing it. It's amazing how forgiving our ear is to listening to live radio. But when you are the one in front of the microphone for the first time, you notice every tiny hesitation or "imperfection" and imagine it magnifying and broadcasting across the land! To the listener, however, it sounds just like everyday talking would sound and they think nothing of it.
My whole adult career in photography has been about being behind the camera and setting a tone for my clients so that they can truly relax and get images of themselves they've never seen before. I've started to realize that not only is it OKAY for me to have a more prominent and public role, but that maybe I've secretly wanted that for a long time but felt it was more appropriate to help behind the scenes and support other people face their fears and realize they are capable of doing things they never thought possible. :) I had a major epiphany at legendary photographer Ken Whitmire's Wall Portrait Conference last year. I realized "Holy cow. I not only CAN do the things I assumed I cannot....but could it be possible I was MADE to do these things? And the strongest feeling I ever had in the world replied YES.
I wrote and wrote and wrote after class at the 6-day wall portrait conference, late into the night. And when I got home, I walked into the garage where my husband was and talked to him for SIX hours straight about the incredible perspective shift I had...I mean it was a TRIP. It felt like, holy, or something. You guys ever have an experience like that? Where the universe kind of hits you in the head with a brick?!
As 2011 comes to a close, I am still in a state of exploring what my voice is, and where it belongs. I've been Facebooking like crazy, on my personal page, Julie Watts Photo business page, my Photopantz business page, and not quite as much as I should on my Photopantz Blog. But I've always loved this, my Julie Watts Photo Bloggillicious. This feels like home to me. And even though I have no idea who is reading this, similar to being on the radio, it is easy for me to imagine there's nobody there so it's okay to talk about what I really think.
Thanks for reading my blog posts, whoever is out there. I hope they are inspiring. I hope you get as much out of reading them over the years as I enjoy writing them.
I probably wasn't clear, but our last show aired on Thanksgiving 2011. This was the kind of thing where you paid the network for airtime, not the other way around. So that's why we enjoyed our time while we were there but moved on to other things. :)