So for a long time now, I’ve felt like it was time to start a blog for the business. If you’ve followed me for the full 6.5 years, you know that this isn’t the first one that I’ve started, but this time it feels different… I feel like 6.5 years in, I know this industry – I know what I’m talking about – and I know my voice as an artist. I’m ready to start really diving into some things while also sharing a little personal stuff, and of course – beautiful images from my portrait sessions!
-a little (lotta) bit about my journey-
Like many of my photographer friends, my journey started with my kiddos. I remember the moment super distinctly – the moment I thought “maybe *I* should try to pick up a camera…”
During my kids’ 9 month portrait session, I remember having all these thoughts – “I would do this” or “I would do it that way…” and while we LOVED our images and love love love the sweet lady and friend who took them, I remember that being a moment that really made me start thinking… Not because I thought I could be “better than” or anything else, but because I thought “maybe I have something inside me that wants to create in this way too…”
Flash forward to Spring of 2012 and my point and shoot camera broke WHILE we were on our way to Florida for vacation… Face. Palm. We made the choice to pull off to Best Buy and get a new one, but this time – I wanted a fancy camera. I wanted one that I really could learn to use and swap out lenses and do all the fun “pro” things with. I was so proud of that little “big” camera – it was a big camera for me at the time, but I really had no idea then that I would be operating a full-service portrait studio one day and my camera was going to end up being a LOT bigger. While we were on our trip, I took pictures of my babies on the beach, pictures of a friend and her kiddo, and just played around with it for fun. By the time the trip was over (literally in the car on the way home), I had signed up for a photography class through Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film.
The class started in early June, I think – and by the end of the 6 week program I had *for real* paying clients. You could have seriously knocked me down with a feather… I was blown away at the idea that A – I could actually build a business and make an income without working for “the man” again and B – I could actually have a TON of fun doing something I really love as a JOB. Are you even kidding me right now though?
The next 6 years felt like they really flew by in a blink. Throughout those 6 years, I swapped around from specialty to specialty – kind of photographing whatever and wherever, just to get experience and just to shoot. I did family portraits, children, newborns + babies, high school seniors + teens, weddings, birth documentaries, product photography, boudoir, live stage performances, birthday parties… Honestly, you name it – I shot it. It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of really wonderful people. I think that time for me was really about trying to figure out WHERE my passion lied and where my heart was as far as my artwork was concerned — and gaining the confidence to call myself an artist.
During that time, I really fell in love with senior + teen portraits. I think because as a woman who has “been there / done that” when it comes to the struggles of navigating high-school, it warms my heart and just makes me so happy to know that I’m doing MY part to make these girls (and guys too!) feel beautiful. Teenaging is HARD, y’all. I know we all talk about how “adulting is hard” but what these kids go through these days – ESPECIALLY with social media playing a part… I can’t even imagine. I thought it was hard going through high school when I did it 20 years ago! (OMG did I just say 20 years ago? barf.)
Being a part of these kids’ journey, creating something for them that makes them feel beautiful and fierce and ALL things wonderful, handing them an album or a canvas or a framed print that will sit or hang in their home forever — all of it just makes my heart beat a little faster. Plus – Kids are up for all kinds of fun adventures!
I feel the same about families — As a mama, I KNOW how hard it is for us to suck it up and get *in front* of the camera for a change… We’re always the ones pulling out our phones to snap a pic, but so many times that leaves us without any photos with MOM in them for our kids to have when we’re long gone (morbid, but freaking true y’all). I love creating a family portrait where mom FEELS BEAUTIFUL and WANTS to hang it on her walls and proudly display her family’s love and beauty.
As I enter my seventh year in this business, I am so very excited about the future. I love what I do and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to do it. I may work endless hours and sometimes it truly seems like I’ll *never* catch up, but I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness for the ability to spend my days doing something I love and creating art for beautiful people like you.