Slow Days, Success, and Doing the Work

Last week was a normal, intense “in wedding season” week in June. Saturday was a not-so-normal wedding day due to rain torrential downpours that required every ounce of creativity from my team. Seven years of shooting weddings, and I’ve never seen rain like this… or ended the day so soaked to the bone!!

We had a quiet Sunday, and I had a root canal this morning (best way to start a week, amiright?), and was supposed to take today off… or at least take it easy. But as I lazed on the couch this morning watching reruns of Royal Pains, I stumbled on this post from Think Splendid, one of my favorite business marketing blogs. She originally posted this article back in 2013, and I read it then, was inspired, wrote about it in this blog post, and ramped up my work. Re-reading it this morning was exactly what I needed today.

If you want to be an overnight success, you do the work day in and day out. You do the work that everyone else gives up on. You do the work that everyone else has mistakenly labeled a waste of time. You do the work even when you’re convinced that everyone on Twitter and Instagram has figured out some foolproof system that they haven’t clued you in on. You do the work even when it is boring. You do the work even when you don’t feel like it and would rather curl up under a blanket on the couch with a cup of tea and Netflix.

Then one day, out of nowhere, you will be labeled an overnight success. A door will open to a new hallway with new doors bearing new opportunities. You will still have to do the work to open these doors, but they will swing a little more freely.

Everyone will want to know how exactly you got so lucky. How you found the shortcut to that hallway with those doors. And you will smile because you know the answer isn’t one they want to hear.

The shortcut is doing the work.

Read more:

Today, I’m doing the work. Importing, sorting, culling, answering emails, editing, exporting, etc. The work. The normal work. The same work I’ve done for three-quarters of a decade. That work. Maybe one day it will result in “overnight success,” more Instagram followers, a big publication, etc, but even if it does, I’ll still get up the next morning and do the work. The normal work. That work.

Because faithfulness matters. Consistency, integrity, work ethic, and humility. Loving and serving my clients? That’s worthwhile work, and I want to keep doing it for at least twice as long as I’ve done it so far… and with an increasing amount of faithfulness.

So today, I’m doing the work.

And because every post is better with pictures, here’s just a preview of this weekend’s wedding. More coming to the blog later this week!

Rainy Day Wedding Party Photos at Jefferson Memorial by Sarah Bradshaw Photography

comments +

  1. Kristen Browning

    June 29th, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I read the same EXACT post from think splendid today too! I was browsing thru that site this morning 🙂

  2. Jessica Haley

    June 29th, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Love this Sarah! Such great words of wisdom!! I love Think Splendid 🙂

  3. Renee

    July 1st, 2015 at 3:13 am

    Oh my! This is going to be a good post!! Love that image

  4. Siri Mock Salonen

    July 18th, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I just found your lovely blog and work today and have really enjoyed seeing what you do and hearing what you think about it. As a fellow wedding photographer immersed in the business building and craziness of wedding season, I totally get it. Guiding this passion of a business and finding balance with love (our own loves AND those of our clients!) and work is the greatest and most amazing challenge I have ever undertaken. Thanks for reminding me that I am not alone!

  5. Spreadsheets, Lists, and a Heart of Wisdom | Sarah Bradshaw Photography | Blog

    January 6th, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    […] Slow Days, Success, & Doing the Work […]

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Hello, I'm Sarah Bradshaw! Classic-obsessed, coffee-loving D.C. wedding photographer. I’ photograph because I believe that all of life is beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.

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