Guys. FOUR YEARS.
FOUR FREAKING YEARS. Holy wow. All of the wow.
For four incredible years I have now called myself a ‘photographer’. For four incredible years I have had the honor of making photographs of beautiful humans and getting to call it my job. To say that makes my heart is overwhelmingly full.
I don’t think I will ever be able to express my gratitude to my sweet Jesus for allowing me to have found this field and be able to thrive in it. For giving me this crazy passion and equipping me to be the business-woman I am.
But guys. I’ve made it to four years. I’ve been shooting my little heart out since Oct. 25th, 2011. I just doesn’t seem real. It still feels like a dream. A very hard dream that I put my blood, sweat, and tears into, but a dream nonetheless. I have the incredible blessing to be able to work for myself. To be my own boss.
It’s so so good. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
But I’m still in shock that I’ve made it four years. Man, what a whirlwind these years have been. I’ve experienced such a mixture of emotions that range from extreme happiness to extreme defeat and sadness. I’ve walked through creative dry spells and gone through seasons where I wasn’t booking anything and wanted to give up, and on the other hand I’ve walked through serious creative highs and crazy booking influxes. But that’s what this business is. It’s an emotional roller coaster full of extreme highs and extreme lows. Because it’s so much more than just getting to take pictures and create art for me, it’s putting my heart on a platter and serving it to everyone around me. It’s putting my everything into my art. It’s my personal ministry and so much more. It’s me getting to love on those that God is bringing across my path that I would never have met without this sweet business of mine.
I have the sweet honor to show people their beauty. To make people feel loved. To show someone a picture of themselves and give them the chance to accept themselves for who they are. It’s truly one of the greatest honors I’ll ever be given. Oh, and I get to love on couples during the most exciting time in their lives. That in itself is one of my favorite parts of the job! ;)
Here’s a little trip down memory lane for you.
I remember the day I shot my first session like it was yesterday. It was October 25th, 2011. At the time I was a 15 year old kid who had no plans or ideas for what I wanted my future to look like. I was just a kid in highschool taking pictures of random objects such as blades of grass, my mailbox, sunsets, and anything else I saw and thought was interesting. I took pictures at random events at my church and bugged all my friends by putting a camera in their face all the time. I was just documenting life as I saw it on a small screen. I was shooting on a very old Canon Rebel XT which was my dad’s camera at the time. I thought it was just the bees knees.
I was just a kid with a camera, and on that Sunday afternoon my neighbor who also attended our church at the time had a random idea and asked me if I wanted to take their family pictures!! She had this great idea to go to an adorable downtown and shoot on the railroad tracks afterwards (Which I don’t recommend because it’s illegal, but anyways….) So I grabbed my camera and rode with them to our fabulous location and I shot my little heart out. We had so many pinterest ideas and cute posing plans. As I was shooting the session, not knowing at all what I was doing, something sparked in me. This is what I wanted to do. I was interacting with people and creating an image, versus taking an image of something that was already created.
I fell in love with capturing people. So this was it for me.
I went home after that session and edited the entire session on Picnik (which doesn’t even exist anymore! ha!) I added the coolest filters, cute sayings with fancy fonts, and even made parts of the image in color and the rest of the image in black and white. It was literally the coolest thing that I had ever done because it was for an actual session. After I edited the images, I made a Facebook page and invited all of my friends to like it. I remember laying in bed that night and having this overwhelming feeling that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Not just as a hobby, but to grow as a photographer and learn how to be a good one.
I was definitely just a cute little high-schooler who started a Facebook page and took cute pictures. Never in a million years would I have ever pictured myself where I am now.
So that’s a little glimpse into my humble beginnings. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of where I started and how much I’ve grown since that day 4 years ago. Not just as a photographer, but as a person. I’ve been given so many incredible opportunities since that day, and oh man am I so thankful.
Now here I am — no longer a family/everything photographer, but a FULL-TIME wedding photographer who has photographed just over FIFTY weddings in 2 1/2 years of shooting them. Guys, FIFTY WEDDINGS. Holy wow. I’m so honored to do what I do, and am oh so looking forward to what this next year holds for me and this little business of mine.
Lastly, I want to make a huge shoutout to every person and client in my life who has supported me over these four years. To thank those who have encouraged me with their words and their actions. To the people who get excited for me over new sessions, or big opportunities that have come up for me, your sweet comments are what keep me going. They encourage me in a way that I can’t describe. So to all of you who have ever given me encouragement, thank-you.
Here’s to a brand new year full of new adventures, world travels, exciting opportunities, and fabulous new couples and beautiful weddings!!!