I’ve been a “paid” photographer for close to 14 years now but I’ve always LOVED photography. My passion came from my dad. He always had a camera in his hand, in fact he bought his first camera when I was born. He’ll tell you he exposed the first roll of film he took and ruined them taking them out of the camera. I remember the smell of film and the canisters that film came out of. I remember playing with those black canisters with the gray tops! (Anyone else remember those?) I got a disk camera for Christmas when I was probably 10. This dates photography wAAAAyyy back!
By the time High School rolled around, I had advanced to a real camera. My Senior Year, I was School Photographer for the Yearbook. Impressed? ….. I graduated with 23 in my class…don’t be!
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Gracie, my dad bought me a Nikon…a REAL, REAL camera! Film too! Gracie’s first year was spent in front of that camera and I spent a fortune printing images that were mostly terrible but I was proud of them nonetheless. But I kept practicing and practicing. I began taking photos of my neighbors children and I began to grow as a photographer.
When I went digital in 2002 (VERY primitive), I started shooting more. By 2005, I had a studio set up in my upstairs bonus room. Every Saturday, I would frantically clean my house and set my own two babies downstairs in front of the TV and shoot sessions. In 2008, I converted my garage into a real studio. I traveled to Nashville, San Antonio, New Orleans and Memphis for photography classes and conventions. I read and studied everything I could get my hands on. I spend hours online trying to improve and learn all there was to know about photography. I’ve gone back and forth between teaching and trying the photography thing full time. I’ve changed websites, cameras and even names but my true love of photography has not changed.
In 2014, I had a third daughter. My family now included a 13 year old, a 12 year old who played travel softball and now a newborn. My husband worked long hours and six days a week. I made the decision then to put my business on the back burner. I offered mini sessions in the fall and spring and mainly only took on clients that I had a previous relationship with. Even then, I spent long hours on the computer editing and trying to get it all done and I admit, I didn’t handle it well. My customer service and my timelines suffered. I was stretched too thin and I began to question this whole photography thing.
About two years ago I began a journey. I committed to a Bible study with Good Morning Girls. The whole premise behind this study is to study one chapter of the Bible daily. I began journaling and I began studying God’s Word deeper than I ever had. This became a huge passion for me. After a lengthy study on Prayer, I began praying for an answer to what my purpose I have in this world. I questioned my place and what I could offer to others. I placed it all in HIS hands. It was no longer what I wanted to do but what did HE wants me to do. I prayed that if this photography thing is HIS will, I will do it! It didn’t take long for HIS answer. The phone started ringing although I haven’t advertised in years. The sessions that I did last fall were some of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had. And there was the key…..they were EXPERIENCES!
EXPERIENCES…that’s what it’s all about. Not quick sessions within a time limit. Not cookie cutter, every session looks the same. I am now drawn more to lifestyle and candid images. My studio is still great and is still functioning but sessions in my client’s homes appeal to me more. Natural light in contrast to huge studio lights and a sterile environment. My style and my desire is evolving and it’s made me so excited. I’ve stayed awake at night imagining and dreaming of this new chapter in my business.
I’m still working out details so please be patient with me. I’ll be tweaking and changing a lot of my policies so bear with me. I’m adding back print credits and proofing into my sessions. I’ll be shooting less probably but the EXPERIENCE will be more meaningful. I can’t wait to share more in the coming weeks!