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  • Earlier this week I found the book again.

    The one that changed me.

    I remember the scene vividly.

    I was at the dining room table with a clean empty notebook, full cup of coffee, and the book- completely in crisis.

    One of those, "WTF am I going to do with my life?!" crises.

    I couldn't imagine working a desk job at a non-profit.

    In fact, the idea of working for any boss made me feel anxious (residual hierarchy issues from childhood & marching band).

    I wanted the perfect trifecta of jobs- paying, meaningful and enjoyable.

    But more than that, I was craving a set-your-heart-on-fire kind of job.

    Which was why I was reading this book- How to Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up- in the first place.

    I'd decided to be a wedding photographer.

    There's lots of money in that, right?

    In my mind, it was the only way to make a living as a photographer.

    I sat with my notebook, trying to find the language to describe how much I loved shooting weddings.

    I was doing swimmingly- I'd even come up with this brilliant line, "I'm completely in love with photographing people in love."

    But then the book asked the question.

    And I realized there was no way I could be a wedding photographer.

    "What were you put on this earth to do?"

    Oh shit.

    And then it poured out of me. My organic theory of change:

    "I was put on this earth to tell stories.

    Stories that inspire people.

    Stories that awaken people to the injustices of our world, to our commitment to one another, to our capacity for change.

    I was made to create hopeful, compelling, nuanced portraits of life around the world.

    I was made to create media that connects us to one another, that show our commonalities. It's not exotic, different and foreign, but personal, intimate and honest.

    I was born to tell stories that remind us that as humans we are fundamentally one."

    And so began ListenIn Pictures.
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