A Story of Passion, a Fulfillment of Hope

I am so inspired by the stories I hear about people who take risks to lead more fulfilling lives. It is these kinds of stories that inspired me to do it myself. Today I bring you a guest blog post by Jean Lua, an emerging photographer, who tells her story. I hope you find it inspirational too.

“I was made for this. I just know it.”

My mind and heart were actually on the same page. But I was afraid to make the jump; fear of the unknown was eliciting a powerful reaction. Yet I finally took a risk. Here is my story.

For most of my adult life, I had dabbled in photography. Flowers, plants, water – I was like nature’s paparazzi. About a year ago, I began to receive requests for portraiture sessions. The requests multiplied.

A Rose's Tears by Jean Lua

An all-consuming passion, photography began to fill my thoughts from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. In-between a 50-60 hour work week, I began to take classes, seek out mentors and spent a minimum of 10-15 hours per week photographing or studying the field through books and articles.
Yet comments from others flew left and right.

“This sounds like an obsession.”
“Leaving your job is a bad idea.”
Another person who wants to be a photographer”
“You’re a ‘wannabe.'”

To be honest, some of the words stung pretty deeply. But I try to live my life with no regrets.

So I jumped.

Was it scary? Totally. Was I leaving a successful, eight-year career in management? Yes. Could I fail? Absolutely.

Innocence and Wonder by Jean Lua

Fast forward to the present time. I currently work for a local fine art portraiture studio in Richmond, Virginia, where I have the wonderful opportunity to learn from two amazing people and artists. I recently joined two professional organizations (PPA and VPPA) and recently submitted prints for critique and possibly competition. Right now, I am writing about my story as a guest blogger on Anne McKinnell’s website.

I…am humbled by it all. Photography is more rewarding than I could have imagined, more fulfilling than I ever knew, more in synonymous alignment with who I am as a person. It all began the moment I pursued my dream and decided to take a risk.

But I could not have done this without the support of others. People who believed in me and rooted for me every single step of the way. My talented brother, James Lua. My photography mentors and amazing artists, Wolfgang and his wife, Beth. Inspirational and incredible photographers such as Dan Bailey, Anne McKinnell, Ian Plant and Grant Ordelheide. Rick, the love of my life and my husband. My dear friends and family. God.

Go ahead – dare to dream. Delve deeply into that which fulfills you like none other. Our life on earth is very brief and tomorrow is never a guarantee. Know that the journey will not been an easy one; it will be rife with successes, failures, laughter along with tears. Yet when things become difficult, keep going.

Make the jump. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Silent Vigilance and Remembrance by Jean Lua

“Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference.” ― Robert Frank

About the Author

Jean Lua
Jean Lua
Jean has been enamored with photography for most of her adult life and enjoys exploring the inherent beauty that is found within nature, landscapes and people. After a fulfilling career in management, she decided to switch to photography on a professional level and spends most of her free time immersed in the field. She currently lives in Richmond, VA with her husband, Richard Blalock. She is a member of both the VPPA and PPA.
Find out more about Jean on her website.
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  1. George says

    Wonderful story Jean. You obviously have the talent to be successful and, equally important, you are going about it the right way. I have known people with potential that wanted to “take the risk” and jumped in the deep end instead of methodically and thoughtfully pursuing their dream and failed miserably.

    As both you and Anne have shown it takes much more that just taking the risk. It takes study, perseverance, and a knowledge of the business, as well as, the love of the vocation.

    Your photos are wonderful and the portrait is engaging.

    I know you will do well and wish you all the best.

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