Monday's Musings: Do What You Love, Love What You Do

by Mary Denman  @MaryDenman

Do what you love by Mary Denman Photography
We frequently hear the quote, "Do what you love, love what you do", but have we taken the time to really think about it? Is it true?

I think it's very profound.


Well, let me tell you about a journey I've been on. Not a physical journey, but on a life journey.

It's about photography.

I've enjoyed photography for years and years. I had a point and shoot that I used all through high school. Then, a Minolta X-700. I have tons of printed photos from the years of my children growing up. Well, 1,378,964 shots of my first born to be exact, and then it went downhill from there for my other 4 kids. My fifth child has about 26 newborn shots. Maybe. You know, I was a little busy.

My huge, awesome Mary Denman Photography
Once I got over the fog of 5 kids in a 9 year span, and then they started to graduate high school after homeschooling them, I started doing more with my photography.

Along the way though, I took family shots on vacation. When I say family shots, I don't mean just me, hubby and our five kids. That's a piece of cake. Oh no, I mean all 36 of my family members on vacation. My parents, my five siblings, their spouses and all the grand and great grand kids. My goal was to get shots of everyone during our weeklong trips to the beach. (Upon writing this, I now know why conference photography is so easy for me!)

My huge CRAZY family
Anyway, I take pictures all the time now. Flowers, conferences, landscapes, vacation....

But what was I to do with all of them? Well, I make calendars for my family, became a conference photographer, teach photography on my blog and take head shots for people.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I inadvertently found something I LOVE to do. That I actually get paid to do. (I don't make money on my blog. This is just sharing my love of photography.)

But I've found that I enjoy capturing Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in particular.  My shots from the 5 day conference go on Facebook for anyone from the conference to enjoy. The photos get used on blogs, posted all over people's timelines, especially the award winner's photos.

Another awesome part of Blue Ridge is that I take head shots for authors.

Let me say it and be clear, I LOVE MY JOB!!!

I could get a clean shot in one take. But I really enjoy getting to know my subjects. What they write. What's their ministry. What they talk about. It helps me get a shot that conveys who they really are. Not just a clean shot.

Too, I LOVE working with people who are terrified to get their picture taken. Crazy, right? Not for me.

Why? Because my heart goes out to them.

I understand. And I want them to relax and see themselves very differently. I want them to see the same beauty I see in them. The beauty God created in them. In their smile, their eyes, in a smirk.

If I can do that, then the greatest reward I can ever receive is them saying, "I love my shots!"

So back to the quote. How did I get here?

For me, I took pictures all the time. Just for family at first. But I couldn't help myself and took pictures of just about everything. I documented life. All the time. Which lead to me be a conference photographer because I first gave away my shots. Then it lead to me doing head shots.

I did what I loved. Photography. Which lead to me loving what I do. Photography.

While I didn't set out to be a professional photographer, that's where I've ended up. While I still have a LOT to learn, I still love to teach. While there will always be better photographers than I am, I still love my little niche. I love the people I work with. I am blessed to do what I love.

So where are you in your journey? 
Are you doing things you may need to do, but not quite what you dream about doing? 
How can you start doing what you love? 
Or are you already doing what you love and can help others find their passion?

TWEETABLE:  Do you do what you love & love what you do? (click to tweet)



  1. I am doing what I love, but it's a bit interrupted at the moment with a move coming up of our household. Hard to be creative and writing when there is so much "stuff" to do!

    1. I'm glad you know what you love! Moving is a temporary inconvenience. :) You know what will be waiting for you!

  2. Mary, great post to inspire us. My dad was a photographer so I grew up around cameras. It wasn't his full-time job, but he was a professional. Those were the days of film and chemicals. He had his own darkroom and I enjoyed watching the pictures develop in the solution. How I wish I would have paid more attention when he tried to teach me what you are doing now--all about f-stops and aperture. If I had, I would be better at it now!

    1. Oh Barbara, there's no time like the present! You're learning now and that's what counts!

      You probably have some knowledge stored away in there. :) Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Gee - who is that lovely lady in the brown blouse?

    It is wonderful that you are doing what you love. Very few people can say that. You are blessed and you bless us by sharing your love.

  4. Great post Mary, have a lovely week :)

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing :)

  5. Wow! Great post. Pinned and tweeted. We appreciate you stopping by to party with us. We hope to see you, tonight at 7 pm. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls