You will be hearing a lot about “sending the elevator back down” here at Kate Doster Media. It came from a discussion with a friend and colleague when we were discussing working with a make-up student. My friend said “that’s why we do what we do, send the elevator back down.” I became obsessed with the idea of exactly how to do that. We started with that make-up artist and it has expanded to my former assistant and now photographer Kimmi and photographer Gabe. I had lunch recently with award winning hair stylist Brynne Dubin of Brynne Nicole Beauty and Sola Salon Studios and she was excited about this campaign, wanting to follow suit in the world of hair to send the elevator back down. When people ask me what it means, I just tell them that when you know, you show; that is the long and short of it. I personally believe that there is enough glory for all of us and it is selfish to horde knowledge just like it is selfish to withhold locations from other photographers because you think it’s a prime spot. I met my mentor Jim years ago and he has never criticized my work in any way but constructively. He has always tempered those early rough shoots with encouragement and that is why I do what I do, because somebody did it for me first. I strongly believe that encouragement and positive affirmations are game changers in someone’s life. What are you doing to send the elevator back down for people in your life? Think about who in your life encouraged you and lifted you up? I can tell you without a doubt who it was for me and when it was. Picture it, 1986, home from college and I was wearing big hoop earrings (trust me, it was a thing.) My mother was having coffee with a younger friend and I came home for the weekend. My mom immediately criticized my earrings saying they were too big and tacky and I looked dumb. Well, let me tell you, my mom’s friend saw the look in my eyes and how my face fell, but I was trying to not cry and show that I wasn’t bothered by my mother’s words. Her friend shut her down like a steel trap and told her how those earrings were the style and very cool and I looked amazing and then she winked at me. My mother was left speechless and she apologized and I felt validated and heard and I never forgot that day. That friend died last weekend and I still remember all the times that beautiful soul validated this creative soul. Take the time to look at who is listening to you, share some encouraging words. Lift them up, drop some knowledge, send the elevator back down and watch your craft, your expertise carry on to the next generation. #sendtheelevatorbackdown