How I found my passion in a 3 minute conversation

I was at a networking event last week when a woman named Tammi asked me: “So what’s YOUR passion?”... And she caught me completely off guard.

I mean - I have a perfectly prepared 3-minute elevator pitch about what I do, but a passion? Should I tell the truth to this unknown lady with big, bright eyes and a genuine smile? That deep in my heart, my truest passion is… taking naps?!

taking naps machu picchu traveler

Fast forward to this morning, which I spent burning my tongue on a hot matcha tea and going through one particular client’s photos. I found myself reminiscing about our initial phone consultation when he said he needed new headshots, as well as some nice lifestyle photos taken around the city to post on social media.

And even though I’ve had this exact same conversation with prospective clients countless times now, it still stuns me when they vaguely ask for “some nice lifestyle photos.”

However, when I put myself in their shoes, it makes complete sense. Of coursethey want photos for their social media! And just the fact that they realize they need more than a headshot means my work is already halfway done.

All that’s left for me to do is explain that not only should they want nice pictures - they should also want THE RIGHT nice pictures.

[Hmm… What exactly does that mean, Irina? It’s bolded and capitalized so it must be important!]

Well, what I’m talking about is the kind of nice pictures that will simultaneously speak and relate to their audience while representing their brand in the most flattering and accurate way possible.

Which means my clients and I need to spend some time answering important questions - about both their business and their audience. And ultimately, figuring out what kind of stories we’ll create to connect the two through our lifestyle shots.

Because - I need to frame my pictures to complement the stories they’ll be telling THEIR prospective clients and audience. And sometimes, we even need the pictures to drive home the whole point.

So - back to this morning. While I was working on the pictures and observing the transformation from “let’s shoot some nice lifestyle photos” to “let’s create a strong collection of professional on-brand images,” I couldn’t help but get goosebumps. Because I realized that I’m genuinely passionate about finding that special light in a personal brand and bringing it to surface.

Like… this kind of passionate!

Like… this kind of passionate!

Because, with everything we - business owners - task ourselves to do every day of the week, of the month, of the year - it’s difficult to maintain that sharp focus on WHY we do what we do and adjust the HOW accordingly in the fast changing world around us.

And I love finding that light. I love the moment it clicks (pardon the pun). And then photos become easy. Well, not always, but when we know our exact destination - the challenge of getting there is exhilarating and fun.

THAT is my passion, Tammi. Thank you for asking me that question!

Irina LeoniComment