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Conversations with the Inspiring Mary Carol Fitzgerald

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Carol Fitzgerald.

Mary Carol, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It’s no surprise I became a lifestyle brand & fine art photographer— I’ve been photographing since I was in elementary school. I’m the youngest of five, but since my siblings are much older, I spent a lot of time by myself. My camera became a part of me, my best friend. It was always with me. I never felt alone when I was out exploring nature, photographing flowers and sunsets, or capturing people in their natural element.

I wasn’t always a professional, full-time photographer. For more than a decade of my professional career, I was in the real estate business. Once the market crashed in 2008, I held on for a few more years until I realized I was burned out. It was time to make a choice. Do I stay in the real estate business or follow my heart in the photography field of possibilities? With careful consideration and listening to my gut instinct, I took a leap of faith living into my dream of having a successful, lucrative photography business.

Being open to the signs, following the bread crumbs to my next steps, at every single step, I never imagined that the journey from where I was then to where I am now, would have taken me farther, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, than any dollar amount could ever compare.

The dawn of my spiritual awakening was when I moved to Chicago (from Naples, Florida) in 2010, which opened the path to where I am today. Once I moved to Chicago, I became extremely active and into fitness and yoga, which quickly became an area I specialized in photographing. Over the years, my love of yoga led me to a yoga teacher certification, intensive transformational and leadership training, to the cosmic realms of working with shamans participating in spiritual retreats, plant medicines, sweat lodge experiences, and so much more.

Each event was of the utmost healing and self-discovery for my Spirit and soul, guiding me closer to my Divine mission in this life. The moments of my biggest transitions came with quick decisiveness: decisions where I trusted my gut. In 2010, I decided on a whim I was moving to Chicago and everything suddenly fell into place, so perfectly, in fact, I thought, ’What’s the catch?’

I soon came to realize that there was no catch; this is what it’s like when you are ‘in the flow’ of life and ‘allow’ life to unfold before you.

In 2019, I was on a plane to San Diego for an entrepreneurial mastermind retreat. I was at the point of needing to make a decision as to where I wanted to move before the frigid winter came rolling into Chicago. Since high school, I dreamed of moving to San Diego. I actually called California my ‘Dream State’ having never even visited before. While I was on the plane, I thought about moving back to Florida where it was warm, sunny, humid and where palm trees swayed in the wind. I thought to myself about the comfort of already knowing the state.

Another thought crossed my mind about stretching myself outside of my comfort zone. Since I’d always wanted to move to San Diego, this would be a perfect opportunity. I then heard a voice in my head. “You’ll regret it if you don’t go.” And with that, my decision was made and I was on my way out of Chicago one month later with incredible ease and grace headed for a smooth transition.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My biggest challenges have been getting out of my own way and ‘thinking’ I didn’t know what I was doing and not trusting myself or the process. For the longest time, I walked around feeling lost, confused, and with a victim mentality of why things weren’t working out. I learned, your business and the service you provide is not about you. As long as you are making it about you and not the people or cause you are serving, you likely will be floundering.

Be curious. Get to know your ‘why’. Why are you doing what you are doing? Dig deep and be in the inquiry of your life, your surroundings and the pain points of what keeps you and your potential clients up at night. Know what problem you are solving. Get crystal clear on your vision and what you want to create in life. If you aren’t clear, ask yourself questions, consult with friends or hire a coach to evoke the vision from you.

Trust that answers, teachers, guides, and next steps will appear. Be open to the signs guiding you along the way, revealing the next steps. It could be a song on the radio, a billboard sign, a license plate, a thought of someone, overhearing a conversation.

Signs are guiding us everywhere — it’s in opening your connection to that awareness that they will appear to you.

One mantra I like to ask during meditation or journal writing is, “Show me, teach me, guide me.”

Another is, ‘Who do I get to be a blessing to today?’

Trust the process. Have patience. Trust that everything will work out in the Divine right order. The lesson that follows trust is patience — and then more trust and more patience until it becomes a simultaneous dance of trust and patience. Know that you are always supported, and you are never alone. There is infinite wisdom and knowledge within you… and the resources for what you could ever possibly need are likely at your fingertips.

It is in the ask, where we will often find our answers. There is always a choice. There is always a lesson to be learned. We have a choice to suffer and struggle, and we have a choice to free ourselves. I’ve come to learn, ’The struggle isn’t real — it’s only as real as we make it up to be’.

Show up. Network. Get involved in your community. BE proactive and reach out to people and companies that you want to work with. Above all, be of value. Be consistent, be in connection, grow your email list, and followup, followup, followup. Focus on what you want and who you want to serve — not what you don’t want — for you will attract more of whatever it is that you focus on.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
As a lifestyle brand and fine art photographer, I’m known for making people feel comfortable in front of the camera and creating an experience that is more than a photo session — it’s bringing visions to life through my signature process called Vision into Your Brand. I help entrepreneurs and influencers to capture their essence and authenticity, who they are as a person so that they are approachable and their potential buyers and customers are moved and want to be closer.

Much like my scenic fine art photography for residential and commercial spaces, my signature system for entrepreneurs and influencers, Vision Into Your Brand, is an experience connecting you to a deeper, more compelling vision for your life & business. Every image is blessed with love and infused with intention. When you invest in building your personal brand, you are investing in you and your business — for your clients and your future.

 Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
My dad taught me that every failure was one step closer to reaching your goal. There will be setbacks, and you get to get up time after time and keep ongoing. Roll with the punches. Put one foot in front of the other. Celebrate your wins. No matter how small or how big. Never ever give up.

Have a vision, set intentions, be in constant, inspired, committed action and determination… and you will leave no room for anything other than the ultimate success you deserve.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nikki Incandela, Mary Carol Fitzgerald

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