Friday, February 26, 2010


ahhhhh, i feel like i can breathe!

thursday night was a really special night for me. as you know, i spent the evening at tri community as a guest speaker in one of their photography classes. i have been invited there before as a speaker, and also hosted a photoshoot workshop (for lack of a better term) there. i was really excited that they invited me back...but then i got nervous. why, you may ask???

have a seat, this a little heavy...

the honest truth is that 2009 was a tough year! mostly the end of 2009...and it is still tough! i was nervous to go speak to students who might "look up" to my position, because all my stories as of late have been about me getting kicked in the teeth. at first, i was feeling a little embarrassed, thinking, i don't want to tell them that i am not booking major campaigns, and making huge money!!! but then i had to check wouldnt be fair to them, or me.

that brings me to state the obvious...the economy sucks - we all know that. i am thankful that i didnt have a 401k or a home to lose, although, i dont have a 401k or own a home, so glass half full, or empty? full!!!! more than just a bad economy, my biggest problem this year was learning lessons. hard ones. a lot of contractual lessons, client relationship lessons, money lessons, trade lessons, and good old fashioned hard work lessons. none more important than the other...some definitely harder to learn than others.

see, i had never had to work really hard to get work - or clients. i have to admit that i have been very fortunate in photography so far, but i could do so much better. i had a long term client last year that chose to end our relationship very abruptly. i have no need to say why, or to go into detail, but it was a suprise. i had worked with them for a long time, and my duties were steadily growing with them. so much so, that i started to neglect other aspects of my business...not on purpose, it just happened. i didnt realize at the time the damage i was doing to my self and the opportunity to stay busy once the relationship ended. basically, i was up shit creek without a paddle. i had not built any relationships with other lines, pr companies, or showrooms. suddenly i had no potential clients.

the thing was, that i didnt really even know what to do to get them! i was paralyzed.

fast forward to the beginning of february. i realized just how bad it was, and i had one night of crying and freaking out. the next day, i got up, went to work on getting work, and havent looked back since! i cant tell you how it feels to have a fire burn inside you - you have to experience will know when it happens to you. i have almost a fury about me now, that drives me from the moment i wake until late at night when i am in bed, on the computer finding leads to email the following morning. i have never taken so many meetings in my life! i have made relationships with people who didnt know i existed before february! i am finding ways to survive!

i decided to make promo cards ( little leave behinds to help sell you to potential clients) for my newest photographic passion, maternity and newborns!! here is an example!

maria carmel_los angeles maternity photographer

long story long, i am on fire. i have never had it so bad, but i have never worked so hard, and its never felt so good.

its therapeutic to talk about tough times, and verbalize how you are getting through it. the most important thing is to keep it real, it is so easy to lie to yourself, and so tiring. remember that you are not alone - we all struggle. even the biggest and best. keep you heads up, and support one another - we will grow, get better, and survive!

thank you again to albert martinez, and tri community for having me!



  1. There is truth in what you wrote, Maria, and although it is painful to take a tumble (as we all do), it's how long it takes you to get up that shows everyone who you are. You're a champion - you always have been - and it's good to see you come roaring back!

    I love the promo piece!

  2. Good Job girl! I know how it feels too. Its hard in this economic time. Just keep up the good work and more work will come! Great shot. Miss your face. When you come to nyc, please hit me up. xx

  3. Well, since I'm 8 months pregnant I'd love for you to shoot photos of me & soon my baby boy! If you will be in the Tampa/Clearwater area please let me know!

  4. Tracy PendergastMarch 3, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Maria. I loved and respected this post. I know what you are going through...and I myself have felt these emotions come and go so many times. No one ever said this business was easy...but if you're like me, no other job would feel right in your heart. You are talented and strong and I look forward to watching your success grow...
    don't forget that even when you are feeling low, there are always people watching and supporting your career!!!
    i actually stumbled upon this post as I was about to send you a message regarding engagement must be sending out vibes!!!

  5. I’m glad that your visit was therapeutic for not only you—but many of us! Your presentation was not only entertaining, but enlightening. Thanks for sharing your struggles and experiences (and letting us know we’re not alone).

  6. Maria,

    First off, I'm loving this blog-- I can't stop reading!! Secondly, this entry was incredibly inspiring. This industry is insanity and reading this offered me a great deal of comfort (and some tears...not gonna lie, got a little misty!) Your work is absolutely amazing and I love waiting to see what you do next!

    Thank you for the great inspiration!!



    PS- I miss your face :)

  7. Maria....too true. It's funny how life treats you sometimes. But i guess whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and the next time it won't kill as much (or something like that)....