My Journey So Far

My Journey So Far
Olivia Rozinski

I’ve had a few people ask me how I got into concert photography in a way that makes me think they’re waiting for me to tell them a secret code for unlocking access to a new level of life. The truth is, I simply started. I was at a concert, and despite historically being a ‘don’t live through your phone’ person, everything in me wanted to take pictures with my little old iPhone 13 mini. So I did. The photos were grainy beyond belief, but I played around in Lightroom with them for fun, pulled my old DSLR camera out of storage, and the rest is essentially history.

I will say that I had a few incredibly supportive people in my life to whom I will give so much credit. Whether the pictures were good or not, their encouragement fueled my fire. To this day, it’s their opinion and feedback I look for and listen to. If I can give any bit of advice, it’s that. Find a few people who have your best interest at heart and keep them close. Listen to other people, but only take to heart the feedback from the people you trust. Having that group of people to support you is crucial with almost anything. Having your small circle keep you on the right path can be essential as your projects get bigger and bigger. My growth has been pretty rapid with their encouragement, but it has not been without challenges.

Some challenges I’ve had are just part of this life, some are unique to me, and some are unique to women in this industry. The struggles range from simply forgetting items, not being paid enough to cover the cost of getting to the event, not being taken seriously, or, on the extreme end, others thinking I’m looking for something other than a working relationship (more on that in a different article.).

I genuinely love doing this, and I know that I’m lucky to be in a position to be able to do this. And as often as I possibly can, I actively choose happiness and gratefulness. So when I encounter struggles, I try my best to learn from them so I’m more prepared the next time and treat them like a speed bump instead of a brick wall. As simple as it is, having a growth mindset is a massive part of this work. Consistently looking for ways to improve yourself without taking things personally will help your development beyond what any class can offer you.

I think the final aspect of what has helped me build connections is my professional background. I’ve been in sales for 16 years, and having those people skills has been unbelievably helpful. I recently talked about how I get the opportunities I do, and it’s no different than cold calling. ‘No’ is always a possible outcome of my asking, but there’s no harm in asking. For many people, that possible rejection stops them from asking in the first place, but because of my sales history, I know that I’ll never hear a yes if I don’t ask in the first place.

I also think the most significant factor that has helped me, personally, is just showing up kindly. You can ask anyone anything, but how you do it is a secondary theme we pay attention to in conversations, whether we’re aware of it or not. The same goes for making friendships, or even just working relationships, with crew, artists, or management. Everyone has their own method of creating that connection, but I’ve found that being genuine and consistent will get you farther than trying to be anyone you’re not.

There are an infinite number of ways to get anywhere. While thousands may not work for you, continually working towards a goal will always get you closer to where you want to be. I’ve listed the most significant influences in my path to where I am now, but knowing how to turn these lessons into what you need to understand will be your key to success. Go with kindness, determination, and curiosity; things will usually work out how they’re intended to. It’s remarkably cheesy, but don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing this; it can consume your life, and you might as well have fun while doing it.

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