• A Lesson From George

As we sat in the living room watching the Golden Globes, my attention drifted off into my laptop. Award shows are the best thing to watch while doing emails! You look up, see the pretty dresses and then continue cranking out the messages! Well, Michael told me that I needed to stop and pay attention to George Clooney’s speech because it was supposed to be one of the best of the whole night. So I did. I stopped what I was doing and listened… I mean, it’s not hard to stop working to look at George Clooney.

Even now that he’s older, he’s still got that smile! I love George Clooney … but that’s not the point of this blog post. The point of this post is more about what George Clooney SAID. He got up in front of a whole room full of actors, actresses, producers, etc. and explained this. He said that award shows are always the same. You show up on cloud nine. You’re excited because you’ve been nominated and then two hours later, over 80% of the people in the room are immediately losers!! You go from being SO confident to being a LOSER in a matter of two hours! He admitted that it’s not the best feeling to lose but then he said something that stuck with me. He looked out at a room full of celebrities and he explained that really, there are no losers in that room. Everyone in that room is doing what they love. The fact that they are doing what fires them up and they are using their gifts means that they are living an extraordinary life….. they aren’t losing. Now I know there are a TON of celebrities that live empty, unfulfilling lives despite their money, fame and accomplishments. Ultimately, our true joy and satisfaction can only come from a relationship with Jesus. However, I still think there is a lesson here that can apply to the photography industry.

Now obviously, I know that we’re not all famous actors and actresses. However, I was reminded of a slight parallel in his speech that relates to our world. As I listened to George Clooney… one of the best actors of our time…say that “winning” isn’t really what it looks like, I thought about our industry. So often “winning” or “succeeding” is defined inaccurately. One of the common examples of this is when I hear photographers say “Well if you want to really make it, you have to teach one day!”. Welp, I have to say that I disagree whole heartedly.

Not everyone is a teacher… thank goodness for that!! Can you imagine how crazy our world would be if EVERYONE thought that they needed to TEACH someone something?! It would be unbearable! Not everyone was created to be an educator and that’s OK. It’s so important to realize this. I want the photography world to step back and really evaluate this. How did we get to a place where the ultimate “step” as a photographer was to host a workshop? That has just been the trend in the last few years.and while I’m a HUGE advocate for education… I don’t want anyone to think that they need to reach that level to “win”. Like George said, winning may not look like what you think it looks like. There is SO much more to aspire in our industry. Teaching for me is life-giving and encouraging but I didn’t become an educator and immediately felt “complete”…. like I had “arrived”.  “Winning” in our industry can be defined in so many different ways and I just want to encourage photographers and any other creatives struggling with this to stop defining their steps by those that are a few steps ahead of them. There is such a FREEDOM in creating your own trajectory… and even greater freedom when you allow God to plan your steps!!

Happy Monday friends!


xoxo, Katelyn
26 Comments Photography
  1. ashley Mitchell reply

    AMEN. Thank you for this. Couldn’t agree more. Somewhere between turning 30 and drawing closer to God, I have never felt more FREE when it comes to my life and my business, and more excited to follow the path I know was set out for ME.

  2. Lauren Swann reply

    such a good reminder!! Xo!!

  3. Natalie reply

    Yes!! Oh girl, you are speaking to my heart!

  4. Kyla Fetzner reply

    “There is such a FREEDOM in creating your own trajectory… and even greater freedom when you allow God to plan your steps!!” I love this Katelyn! Thank you for this important reminder :)

  5. sandra fazzino photography reply

    it is so very true what the gorgeous mr. clooney said and what you are reiterating to photographers. recently, for the very first time since opening my doors for business four years ago, i felt nervous about my businesses growth rate. i even doubted myself. then, i ran my numbers for my accountant in preparation for our tax meeting. thank goodness numbers don’t lie. my business grew yet again for the fourth year in a row. then, i quickly realized that is not the point either. so much more happened this year than my business growing. my business allowed me opportunities and blessings beyond my imagination and that is the winning feeling. i could afford to send my brother on a missionary trip to mexico this february! in fact, i sent him to christian camp in january, too! i hosted a party for my 97 year old grandmother’s birthday! and i’m flying home for her 98th. these are the things that make me feel good about being the generator of my own income but moreover the generator of service to others, in sharing, in loving, in having the flexibility to be available to those i care for. what a gift to have taken that risk four years ago and write these words today. and what a gift not to compare my insides to other people’s outsides while defining my dreams. xoxox

  6. Megan Kelsey reply

    I think you’re winning when you’re taking photos your clients love, you’re not losing money, and you’re having fun making people happy. So good to keep it in simple terms like that! I loved this post :)

  7. Digna Toledo reply

    Thank you for this post Katelyn. Love you lady,

  8. Katie reply

    Yes!!!!!! You took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve been feeling this way for a while now too…We all have our own version of what success means.

  9. Caroline Logan reply


  10. Amy Demos reply

    I just love this!

  11. Deborah Zoe reply

    I LOVE what you had to say here Katelyn:) Thank you for sharing that! After having Jonathan my business took a completely different turn than where I “thought I was “supposed” to go. But what god had in store was so much better! Every day I try to tailor every thought and action towards the path I believe God has for me. It’s not always easy, but it is live giving!

  12. Tiffany Heidenthal reply

    I have to remind myself of this all the time. One person’s success isn’t what my success looks like. I’ll never host a workshop. It’s just not my thing! I was a teacher for a year and that year was enough ;) bless the people who can do it because it is not me haha!

  13. Lindsay collette reply

    i cannot thank you enough for writing this post. wheewwwwwweeeeee!!!

  14. Katie reply

    This is so perfect… I’m definitely setting a different trajectory!!! :)

  15. Nicole Salter reply

    Is it normal to want to cry after all your blog posts? ;) Your words are always beautiful. Back at ya, because you’re ultimately doing what you wanted to your blog posts to do. Inspirational, life changing.

  16. Cassady Adams reply

    Oh Katelyn thank you for saying this!

  17. Elizabeth reply

    You never cease to amaze and inspire!
    Even when quoting George Clooney!!

  18. Mary Brunst reply

    So very well put! Thank you!

  19. ashley link reply

    There is so much freedom when God plans your steps. Knowing He is in control is a huge stress-reliever. I know that no matter what, if he’s got my back, everything will be okay.

  20. Moriah Ortega reply

    Thank you!

  21. Lacoya H. reply

    Once again, thank you for allowing God to inspire you in different ways and hearing true messages from Him and using them to inspire others who need it. It’s so hard, sometimes, to step out and do something different, because you don’t know how it will be perceived by others – but that’s seriously where prayer and asking the Lord for guidance comes in. His plans are GREATER than whatever society and any industry has deemed ‘success’ to be. Oh I just love your heart. Keep letting the Lord direct your paths! XO

  22. Alicia Lacey reply

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, how success always has to be teaching or getting published, or shooting at THAT venue. Success needs to be where we go home at the end of the day, happy with what we accomplished and where we are in our career. it’s a struggle, but I’m learning to re-define this myself!

  23. Meghan reply

    Love this! Such a great reminder!

  24. Michele Dowd reply

    Thanks Katelyn! This is great :)

  25. Amanda reply

    I agree with what Ashley Mitchell said and I LOVED this blog post! Best and most fresh perspective…you are on point as usual my friend! :)

  26. openload movies reply

    i also got it

Reply to: