I’m almost embarrassed to say how long it took for me to be able to admit that I am a writer. Sadly, it’s one of those professions that few people take seriously. Being able to say that I am a photographer is proving just as difficult. Unless you’re lucky enough to be the author of one of Oprah’s Book Club picks, or have a regular column in a bestselling national magazine like Newsweek or Sports Illustrated, no one really thinks that it’s actually possible to be a writer. And unless you’ve got a pimped out studio and have a photo that you’ve taken blown up on a billboard in Times Square, people have a hard time believing that you’ve got what it takes to call yourself a professional photographer. They just smile and ask, “So…what do you actually do for a living?” and I start second-guessing myself all over again.

Even after all these years, I’m still having an identity crisis. I’m still learning. I’m still developing my style and honing my craft. I’m still trying to build up my portofolio with as many different clients and publications as I can. I’m still experimenting with different lenses, different lighting, different post-processing, different angles. I’m still trying to find a way to capture the world from my unique perspective so I can share it with everyone else. And I’m still trying to make enough to actually pay the bills.

Maybe I haven’t hit the New York Times Bestseller List or been booked to do a photo shoot for People Magazine. Maybe I never will, and that’s okay. I do it because I love it, and because it feels like there is a big gaping hole in my life when I don’t. I’m doing what I can, building my business, adding to my portfolio and, slowly but surely, I’m starting to believe that I really can do this.

Today’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to those who dare to follow their dreams. It’s a long tough road, but every step is worth it.

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