When I first fell in love with photography just under a year ago, I shared it with a photographer that had taken photographs of my family for over a year, a photographer I admired and respected. His response was surprising. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that I would fail. I was devastated.

Because of that experience I have a hard time letting myself feel success sometimes. But I did learn something from it. I learned that I want to treat people who have the same love of photography that I have, with respect and kindness. No matter what their level of skill, no matter what their goal, no matter what. And I’ve tried very hard to do that.

When I think of the success of others, it always seems to be a more tangible thing, an accomplishment, but when I think of my own success, it feels more like an emotion. I wonder why that is?

So I had a little moment of success the other day and I wanted to share it, just because it made me feel good inside. I received an email a few days ago, totally random and unexpected….

I just wanted to let you know that you have had an impact in my life and you don’t even know me. I have always been a very creative person and didn’t know what to do with that outlet. From drawing, to interior design, to even doing friends makeup- I knew I had to do something creative with my life.

I didn’t know what that was untill I had my son, and fell in love with photography. Your work, and the fact that you are just learning and producing these amazing images has inspired me in ways I will never be able to put into words. I feel like I have a path for my life now and just wanted to thank you for the role you have played in it.

I hope one day I can inspire someone to achieve their dream either directly or indirectly like you have. Thank you.

Wow. Just wow. This email meant so much more to me than the author could have known. And to receive such a wonderful gift in my inbox made me feel my emotion of success. Thank you “N”, that last sentence gets to me every time I read it. Follow your dream with your whole heart and you will succeed!