fbpx
An Ode to the Unfinishers

An Ode to the Unfinishers

Sometimes you start something, only to, halfway through, lose all the original motivation and desire to finish it.

HASHTAG ME HASHTAG OMG SO ME IT COULD LITERALLY BE ME DRESSED UP AS ME WITH MY NAME

I run with things only until they fly away.

For too long I felt like this was some kind of Bad And Wrong part of me; we all have that, right? The part that mustn’t be uttered about or shown in public because LO! THY SHALL BE STRUCK DOWN BY THE LORD (or that bitch from school who you don’t even speak to and once said you were a show-off, or your mum, or your best mate, some randomer on social media) WITH A DAGGER OF LIGHTNING (or, y’know, an off-the-cuff sentence about how that’ll never work, that you need to pass X exams or have Y experience or nosh off Z-list celebs) AND SMITE YOU TO DEEEAAAAATH (read: send the inner shitty committee absolutely rampant in your own mind).

I forced past-me into doing things because that was visually how I “should” be presenting myself to the world. Stay the course, nose to the grindstone, push through the boredom and the pain and the awkward middle stage.

There is a place for people who stick to their guns in this world. Laser focus breeds success, slow and steady wins the race. The rest of us? Watch the laser-focused race-winners smash goal after goal, wondering what fucking coffee they drink and what shade of pink their yoga leggings are. Then we buy their courses that we don’t finish, and we start their workouts that we quit after a couple of weeks, and we wear the same t-shirts and bathe in the same bath salts and follow their morning routine and and and…

And when you’ve seen the discarded dreams, the unfinished art, the ideas that only ever made it to paper, the 50% completed courses, the guilt we feel as we think of the money we’ve spent on memberships and classes and stuff that scream their incompleteness when we log into our email or rifle through the understairs cupboard, it can feel overwhelmingly like a bag of failure.

We forget that we too are consistent, we too have succeeded, we too have gifts. We just do it in our way.

We’ve all stuck it out in jobs, we’ve all dedicated our time to relationships, friendships, we’ve all felt the joy of completing something, however small – a jigsaw, an awkward call, a wheel of brie (don’t deny it, I know it isn’t just me) – that meant something to us. We’ve all finished something, but you don’t see us celebrating that because it’s not what we feel is worthy enough.

What if – WHAT FUCKING IF – you decided to love the shit out of your “unfinishedness”?

What then?

“I didn’t finish that gym program… and I LOVE THAT.”

“I didn’t complete the Spanish course… and I LOVE THE BONES OFFA ME”

Loving it feels a bit weird, right? I can hear you all now, “I ain’t getting on no love plane, fool” All right, Mr T. Calm your tits. You don’t need to love that part of yourself, but the aim is for acceptance.

“I haven’t finished that book that I started reading… or writing… and THAT’S OK”.

Being the person who started to totally drop in to loving my Unfinisher opened up my eyes

Yep, initially it felt like I was just lying to myself. “No you fucking don’t love it, you twat. You hate that you spent thousands on that online course years ago and then logged in twice”

But then I started to be ok with it. I didn’t immediately start jumping to the “you’re a total shitbag for not finishing” rhetoric I had historically run to in my mind. I had a few micro-seconds of grace. And then a few milliseconds. And then a few seconds.

But there was another, better, stranger part; I stopped being the person trying to do all the courses and buying all the gym gear and following all the success-drenched, laser-focused bellends because I didn’t actually like most of it.

I got to hear myself – and listen.

I became way more discerning with what I was spending time and money on, with who I was following, and with what I wanted to learn.

My ideas got louder. I started actually fucking FINISHING stuff. And finishing stuff that MEANT SOMETHING TO ME. Small things, like washing my face every night. And then bigger things, like starting a new business (I actually started two in 2018. but that’s a story for another time)

Now?

I let go of half-read books. (Most books? Unless they have some wild end twist, I get the joke in the first half. Then they can go back from whence they came #oxfambookshop #overloadedkindlelibrary)

I cancel the subscription when I notice the program or membership isn’t really “me”.

I cherry pick the people I follow on social media. I consciously choose the people I want to engage with in real life.

I support causes I believe in.

I start things before I’m ready, and if I realise it’s working, THEN I buy things that help save me time or money (or invariably I realise that I didn’t need half the things that you’re told to get anyway).

I have SO MUCH LOVELY, LOVELY SPACE for ideas now. My super-power isn’t about being the tortoise that wins some success race, but being the space for the ideas to spring up in that isn’t clouded by the opinions and ideas of people who simply don’t work like I do. I’ll win the damn race all the same, but the only people in it are me, and me-but-from-yesterday. 

Sometimes the finishing isn’t the specific finishing goal you were expecting it to be, but rather the decision to stop, and to be agile enough to move to the next thing. And look, I’m not here trying to enable people to just quit all the time, but you know – you know – deep down if you’ll regret not completing something to the best of your ability, or if you’ll regret something for staying the course too long. 

The world needs finishers, but there isn’t only one type. Whether a tortoise or a hare, or a demented chinchilla with a speed habit, you are needed in the world.

 

 

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Action point

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Quick hack

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

i
More info available

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Photoshoot prep (AKA OH FARK I’VE BOOKED A PHOTOSHOOT. NOW WHAT SHOULD I WEAR AND HOW SHOULD I DO MY HAIR?!)

I mean, first off, CONGRATS! Dedicating a bit of time to getting some nice pics of you and/or the family is something to be excited about, but I know a lot of you then panic about any preparation. What should I wear?! What should I do with my make up?!?!?! HOW DO I POSE?!?!

First off, if you’re having a family shoot, the most important element is that you’re all comfortable. Wear what you would normally – you want these pictures to represent your family, not a Marks and Sparks catalogue family. You don’t need to be overly fussy, but just keep in mind a couple of things:

a) the weather: Coats, scarves and boots, or t-shirts and shorts? Check out what the weather has in store for your day before the final selection. Standing barefoot in a wood wearing chiffon might look lovely, but it certainly won’t feel it if it’s November and there’s frost on the ground. And…
b) colours: By all means wear green, but remember that I want you to stand out from your background, and if your background is a green field, the shade is an important choice between “floating head” and “magnificent portrait”. Block colours work best in pictures over patterns.

When it comes to an individual head shot or portrait shoot, you want to dress for how you want to be seen. Ask yourself a few questions (I’ll ask them to you, too):

  • Where are these photos going to be displayed? Something on Tinder or a personal Facebook profile page might not be the vibe you want on your business website or as a LinkedIn profile picture.
  • If these pictures are going on a website, do you need to think about the overall brand? You need to make sure that your photographer understands the overall vision, and that you get the right kind of shots for things like wide landscape images to fit on a desktop screen title, specific images of you doing certain actions that can be utilised in your marketing, the colours of your brand, and the vibe of the brand itself.  Shots where you’re laughing like a drain might work well for some brands, but perhaps might be best avoided in a corporate environment.

From the information that you glean from that, you should be able to pick out some suitable outfits, and have a list of images that you need from the shoot itself.

And what about hair and make-up?

Family shoots? Again, wear what makes you feel good and comfortable. Your family want to remember how you look when you feel relaxed, whatever that means for you. Be mindful of hair vs wind. It’s one thing having a cheeky fringe covering one eye; it’s another having jokes about Cousin Itt thrown at you forever more.

Portraits and head shots? Tie this in to your requirements; If you’re a fashion blogger, go all out. Corporate consultant? Keep it as profesh as you need.

Remember to book in any hair and make-up appointments well in advance of the shoot. Give yourself the time to get to the meeting place. Flustered clients don’t make the best subjects, and at the end of the day, you want to be captured at your best.

Never walk into a shoot unprepared – you’re paying money to get the pictures you need here, and photographers might be great with a camera, but are generally pretty cack at anything on a extra-sensory perceptive level.

Remember the ultimate advice:

You being as comfortable and relaxed as possible will create the best shots, Brownie Guide Promise.

I’ve been away

I’ve been away

Well, HELLO.

So, if you’re scrolling through your newsfeed wondering who the hell I am, I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been away for, ooh, two years?

Ooops ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But let me reintroduce myself: Hi, I’m Gemma. I shoot people.

In the face.

With a camera.

And a couple of weeks ago, I actually stopped arsing around.

For years (no, really, YEARS), I’ve been the person taking my trusty camera around with me, and capturing little moments of friends and families. I’d often WhatsApp the final pictures over to the friends and families in question. It was something I loved doing (and still do).

I thought nothing of it. Until I realised that these pictures were being displayed on mantelpieces, put in photo albums, sent to grandparents and even printed out as thank you cards.

My pictures? On calendars? And cards?

I’ve told myself for yonks that I’d never be able to be a photographer because I didn’t have the kit, I didn’t have the skills, there were too many photographers, no-one would really like my pictures anyway.

But a couple of weeks ago, something changed; I decided maybe I shouldn’t be the one to down play my kit and my skills and my pictures.

Maybe I should just be the person to do it, and see what other people thought. So I told the peeps over at my instagram page (you should totally join me over there, btw)

I booked my first three clients in 48 hours.

I had my first shoot last week with these gorgeous beauts.

And now? I’m offering all #Bristol based families the same opportunity.

Unposed, natural light photography, no wanky scrabble letters spelling out names, or studio bean bags covered in voile (sorry if that’s your jam, but it really isn’t mine!).

You get images of your family with their smiles and gappy teeth and wind-tousled hair which look great in the family calendar and photo album, and in plenty of time for the C-word.

(Err, other C-word, my friend… The santa/mince pies/acceptable alcoholism before midday C-word, before anyone reports me to the Facebook police)

If this idea floats your boat, don’t hang about. I’ve got a special price to build up my portfolio if you book before the end of October. And it is AFFORDABLE AF.

http://gemmashootspeople.com/your-kids-authentic-frameable

 

Online business shit I can do without

Online business shit I can do without

Online business shit I can do without

I’m a-gonna rant lyrical for a few minutes here, so please bear with me. I would say usual programming will recommence, but consisering I have no usual programming schedule, you might just have to get used to my slightly rant-filled posts.

I’ve been working on the online space now for 6 years. Long enough to get to know a lot of trends in the industry, and long enough to know who and what to avoid, and the fact you won’t earn 6 figures while you curl out a monster turd in the bog. But the frightening shitness of how women are marketed to (AND how they’re marketing) is preposterous. Starting with (but certainly not ending with)…

The Ridiculous feminising of names

Ohhhh, I get it. You’re a mother AND an entrepreneur, so yeah, mumpreneur. And ohhhh, you’re heart-centred and you lead with your soul, so that makes you a heart-centred soulpreneur. And of course, you’re the boss AND a lady – a ladyboss! Oh how quaint! What are the odds!?

Look, I’m calling SEVERAL PILES OF HORSESHIT ON THIS. Let’s take “mumpreneur” as a starter-for-ten. You’re an entrepreneur who happens to be a mum. BUT being a mum has no impact on your ability to have a business – and I’m not talking about the juggling of kids and family with the day-to-day running of a business (relatively-to-really-fucking-hard), but to have a business in the UK at least starts with a) a decision that you want to run a business and b) filling in a few forms (pretty easy).

Women without kids are what? Maidenpreneurs? Nonmumpreneurs?? NOT -ONE-PERSON-HAS-ENTERED-THE-WORLD-THROUGH-MY-VAGINAL-PASSAGEPRENEUR?!?!?!! Why stop at kids – heck I’m a MARRIEDPRENEUR! That’s totally a fucking thing,right?

And those heart-centred fempreneurs? Uh, sounds like a wank-focused shitpreneur name to me. How you run your business doesn’t dictate that you can run one.

Look, if you were employed in a job, does that make you a “femployee”?! I don’t fucking think so.

The word is “entrepreneur”. Men don’t call themselves “dadpreneurs” or “manpreneurs” or “manboss” or “dick-centred cockpreneurs” because firstly, weird, and secondly the fact that they’re fathers or men or are in possession of a penis has no bearing on the fact that they can run a business.

The fact you identify as a female (and let’s not pretend this is more of a middle-class, white, cisgender trend), or have given birth (and deal with intricacies of running a business and raising kids), or are soulful or spiritual have no bearing on how enterprising you are. Why do we need to make special little soft girly names for non-gender-specific roles? It sounds like the term “entrepreneur” is a cisgender white “man’s” thing, in the same way blue is a “boy’s” colour. WHICH IS A COMMON-OR-GARDEN BAG OF DICKS.

You’re an entrepreneur, or a business owner, or a boss. Gender has nothing to do with it.

Ahhh, that feels better now.

Here’s a picture of a leaf shaped like a heart. You’re welcome.