How it all started: (the long version, buckle up.)
I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite images in each category over the past few years. I started photography in February 2019. When I say that I knew nothing I mean it! I had no clue what I was doing but I learned fast. I took the advice of a photographer that I met doing a bee removal who encouraged me to start a business as a way to push myself and that is advice I would pass on to anyone who is interested in something. Nothing makes you take yourself more seriously than when people paid you for it and now you have to be good at it, haha.
I always kinda knew that I wanted to learn about photography. MY grandmother was a photographer (before it was very popular or accessible) and my aunt was after her. My aunt photographed our wedding and many other life events for me from my Sweet 16 to College Graduation Announcement Photos! I am so grateful and blessed to have her as not just a family member but a great, encouraging mentor. She gave me my very first camera near the end of 2018, with the hope that I would take it on and one day be able to photograph her daughters weddings.(This camera has now been retired to her camera museum because it was her first semi-professional camera). Let me tell you though, I did not take that charge lightly. My aunt has, and still does, photograph dozens and dozens of weddings and it is my personal challenge to show her I made good use of the camera she gave me and the invitation to live up to the task it was given to prepare me for!
That has really pushed me to not be complacent in my growth as a photographer (even though I had a really really hard time learning flash when I first started). I started out photographing anything people would let me. It was extremely discouraging when I would have to try to convince people to let me take photos of them… and then after all the effort they would cancel. I felt not only like a dime a dozen, like I was just another friend-with-a-camera.
No one would pay me to take their photos. HECK, I couldn’t even pay people to let me take their photos! OK, ok, I never actually tried to pay people but they definitely weren’t lining up for me to do it for free. That totally crushed me. Not even for free? Really? Ouch.
Some friends and neighbors who I will never every forget took the time to get dressed up and let me practice on them. One of them is the beautiful girl in the pink maternity dress below. Of course these aren’t the photos that I took when I was first starting out. Some good advice I was once given was to go back and re-pay all the people who took a chance on me or believed in me or just let me practice on them when I was starting out. This suggested re-payment was to be done in the form of taking photos of them now. Now that people pay me hundreds to take their family photos, and thousands to show up on a wedding day. I could have never done it without them, and remembering that keeps me humble. I hope Kelsi was glad she helped me out when I first started, once she saw this session I did for her free of charge 2 years later (because I’m pretty sure she probably could have gotten better photos than the first ones I took of her just having some random person walking past do it on their phone, haha).
To everyone who believed in me from the beginning and stuck with me- Thank You from the bottom of my heart! To those who found me later and booked and stick around today, Thank You Too! To those interested in my images whether you book with me or not, Thank You! To those who I did free sessions for and then complained about my photography, editing style, or delivery methods- ouch, it hurt soooo bad, but you made me keep pushing and here I am now. To those who said no and brushed me off when I offered free pictures in the beginning, or said yes then canceled last minute because it wasn’t worth it to you, Thank You Most of All. You taught me to keep working for it, to push myself to get better, to stay humble, and you taught me who my friends really are <3.
In honor of this little trip down memory lane I decided just now to add some of my first 2018 photos to the end of this blog post. They are not a reflection of how I feel about the people in them. Most are dear friends… I just know after reading that everyone wants to see what my photos looked like when I first started because, well I would after reading that.
And like the disclaimer above this is not an exhaustive list of my favorite maternity and newborn photos I just pulled from the favorites as I browsed my sessions from the past few years. These are all personal favorites for different reasons like over coming a challenge at the session, composition, pushing myself to try something new. They each have a special and unique place in my heart.
oh boy… this was fun.
antiquities circa 2018: