I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a while, and honestly, I’ve really been dragging my feet about it. So buckle in, friends, this is a gonna a long one.
Oh gosh, I don’t even know where to begin, honestly. I have so many emotions and feelings about what I’m about to tell you… I still kinda tear up when I think about it, to be honest. But, here we go…
Roughly two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, I participated in a peaceful protest in Columbia for the Black Lives Matter Movement. No arrests were made, no violence to report, no conflict of any kind during our march. (If you know me personally, you know I feel VERY strongly about equal rights for every human, and I’m a big advocate for standing up for what you believe in. Now, I could go into all the whys of why I support BLM, but instead, if you’re truly wondering about my stance and what not, just email me. This blog post will be TOO long if I get into all of that today, ha!)
During the march, I went ‘live’ on Facebook on my personal page just to show my friends, family, and followers how Columbia was representing a peaceful way to protest. The ‘live’ video was around 3 to 4 minutes long, and after the march was over, I drove home with a happy heart. I felt alive and fulfilled. I felt this energy inside my soul because I knew I had done something important and RIGHT. It felt good; I felt GOOD.
And then, I got home and checked my Facebook… Within that 45 minute time span, my video was shared over 30 times and seen by almost 2.5 thousand people. The comments section BLEW UP. Hundreds of people, from all OVER Facebook started throwing in their opinions on the post, which I expected. What I didn’t expect though, was this…
A random hate group on Facebook found my video, went to my personal page, saw I was a small business owner and encouraged their 10 thousand fans on Facebook to negatively review my business on Facebook, Yelp, and Google.
I started getting comments like this one…
Reviews like these…
All from people I had never met, never photographed, never served as a business owner or photographer. My soul sunk into my feet. I started to cry uncontrollably, I won’t lie to you. My whole world, this business, was going down around me.
Comments like this next one on the right started showing up all over my business Facebook page and personal pages… I’ve only screencapped this one because the rest were honestly too heinous to even mention.
Another photographer in New York, Amelia, started standing up for me on social media to these false reviewers, and one of them even went so far as to falsely review her business as well.
As this all happened, I sat back and watched the biggest display of hate and negativity my business had ever received. Each one star review was a blow to my heart. I take great pride in saying, that in my six years of business, I have NEVER ONCE received anything less than a 5 star review from a true client of mine. So when I saw these one start reviews start to pile up, there was a massive lump in my throat. I felt sick. Tears galore, snot everywhere, you get the picture… It wasn’t pretty.
And then, the most humbling thing that I’ve ever experienced happened to me and my business. Over 135 (YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT, one hundred and thirty-five) of my friends, family members, clients, and supporters took the time to review JHP on Facebook and other sites with 5 star reviews. I went to sleep on Sunday feeling defeated and like it was over, and I woke up on Monday morning with 135 five star reviews and over a 100 new fans on my Facebook page.
Here are a few examples…
I cried again that Monday morning, but this time for a different reason. These tears were tears of humility and extreme thankfulness. At a time when I felt so alone and weak, those who have either publicly or silently supported me over the years came out in HUGE numbers to lend their voices to JHP’s reputation and rating.
Never in my life have I ever felt that amount of love and support in one moment. I was and still am, BLOWN AWAY. These kind words, which are too many to share, are what keeps me going. My clients are my lifeblood. This business and my couples are my heart.
Hate attacked my business, hate attacked my heart, but here I am today, still standing up for what I believe in and endlessly thankful for each and everyone of you reading this.
And, if you haven’t given JHP a 5 start review yet, you can head over HERE or HERE or HERE to do so. I could really use your support, as these group members are still TO THIS DAY leaving false, one start reviews for JHP all over the internet.
And, as Taylor Swift would say, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, but I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake; shake it off!”