Today's blog topic has been on my mind a lot lately.
But before I start in on how to create one, it might be important to explain what the heck one is, and why it would be so helpful to us moms.
Well, I'm not sure. I just made that term up. But the way I see it, whenever I decide to try something new, the first thing I do is call one of my friends. Starting a new fitness program? Text my girls. Thinking about a 30 Day Whole Food Challenge? Call the crew! Ready to take on the challenge of improving my photography? Yup. Time to call the girls.
I cannot be alone in not wanting to be alone. We women seem wired to do things in groups, in communities. Heck, we even go to the ladies' room in communities (ok, we don't call them communities, but still, we all know we do it). Women want community.
We women love being together, but why?
First, we know that "in union there is strength" (-Aesop). If I want to succeed, I'll have a better shot at it if I'm not alone. Think about the last time you attempted a challenge. Maybe you decided to eat healthy for 30 days, or you found a race you wanted to start training for. Did you go it alone? How did that work for you? Chances are you made it a week, maybe 10 days into that plan of yours, and then quit. Ever attempt something with a group? Did you accomplish that goal? Probably. Or at least came a lot closer to the finish line. We truly find strength in numbers. Community builds strength, it builds confidence and support. There are many days when I feel like I can accomplish anything if my girls are with me.
Second, community breeds growth. Not just literally (yes, obviously a group is more than one person), but physically, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. The older I get, the more I'm learning that there is a LOT I don't know. I love the irony in that. When I join a community, whether online, or here on campus, I learn. A community is a place to ask questions about a specific topic, and get answers from real people. Just recently my friends and I joined together to complete a Whole 30 Challenge (nothing but whole foods for 30 days- woah). What I learned right away was that I didn't have a clue about how to eat "whole compliant". And then I learned recipes, and tips for cooking. I learned about where to shop, and where not to. I learned so much in 30 days. And so did the other ladies. Communities breed learning.
And third, communities challenge us. Please tell me I'm not the only thick-headed lady here. Anyone? OK, maybe it's just me, but I tend to form opinions and then latch on to them like they are the only truth out there. But when I join a community, sometimes those rock-hard opinions are challenged. Oh my way of training is not the only way there is? You mean Pilates can be as beneficial as running? Wait, are you saying that eating real food with real fat is ok? WHAT? Communities are a great place to take those opinions and give them a run for their money. Communities foster open-mindedness and thoughtful conversation. With proper rules of course, communities allow us to see the world outside of our little box, and maybe to change a few of our unchangeable opinions.
OK, so we've got the what and the why, but what about the how? Well, there are some simple ways to create communities, specifically Momtography communities, as that's what this blog topic is about, right?
Yes, it's that simple. Thinking of improving your momtography? Call the girls! Or should I say text, or email, or FB message them. However you wrangle your group, do it. Ask a few if they'd be interested in joining you in this venture. Invite them to ask some others. Chances are you'll recruit at least one or two buddies to take the challenge with you. And you are on your way to learning, growing, and improving together.
If you strike out with the ladies at home, then get on line. You can search Facebook for almost any kind of group you can imagine. Fitness groups, business groups, arts and crafts, you name it, it's out there. So take a look around your social media sites for already formed groups on the topic you want to explore. Or better yet...
How awesome would it be if you could just join a community right here to improve your momtography? Well, why not! It's happening! Like I said earlier, this is a topic that has been on my heart and mind for a long time. Workbooks are great, and ebooks, or blog posts, but there really is nothing like real live (sort of) community with real people, sharing real questions and struggles, real help and support from experts (that's me) and friends (that's all of you). REAL COMMUNITY!
Anybody else up for this?
Great! Then let's do this!
This JLP Momtography Community is coming soon, but before I launch it, I want feedback from real moms. So click on the link above, or comment below and tell me what you'd love to have in our JLP Momtography Community.
* Daily JLP Tips for improving your photography.
* Fun challenges to attempt together to get you out of your comfort zone.
* Weekly topics and sharing options (like Location Share Monday, where friends share their favorite places to shoot, or Feedback Friday, when we share images and ask for feedback from others).
* Regular posts filled with resources from my favorite photography experts.
* Contests and giveaways on JLP treats, and other cool momtography goodies!
* Special discounts for community members on new JLP products, sessions, and more.
* Opportunities to share mom questions, relating to photography- and relating to life!