Just as any good story may begin, mine starts at a young age. And before you think I’m going all memoir on you and spilling life’s deepest, darkest secrets to the pursuit of happiness, I’m really not. This is just an effort to be more candid about the journey to my now, and talking authentically with you about life, dreams, hard work and all of the things that make me tick.
My great grandpa, “Papa” was an artist and I know that my creative spirit stems back to him. He used to spend time with me in his beautifully manicured garden when I was a little girl, teaching me the proper way to stroke a paintbrush, blend colors, and how to patiently wait for the dry-time of oil painting. Those are some of my most precious memories to this day and looking back to those sweet days with my Papa reminds me of the importance of doing what I love! He loved to paint, so he painted. It sounds so simple and often makes me question why I don’t do more of what I love as often?
From a very young age I loved to spend time painting, writing stories, arranging my bedroom decor in new ways appropriately swapping out my Mary-Kate & Ashley posters for N’SYNC ones, performing dance routines or plays for obliging friends and family, designing jewelry, and I often helped my mom redecorate our home. I had quite the eye for arranging the perfect N’SYNC wall collage overtop my carefully curated nightstand of trinkets and picture frames, so my mother lovingly took my decor advice from a young age… bless her :). *Side note, N’SYNC > BSB* Nick Carter has nothing on Justin Timberlake, 90’s kids..whose with me? In other words, I found any and every way to fulfill my hearts desire to create and share a piece of my happy with others. Knowing that my purpose rested somewhere between color theory, serving others and doing something that I enjoyed for a living, I pictured myself in one of two careers: cartoonist or interior designer.
Fast forward to high school when digital photography started surfacing alongside those editing programs that came with point and shoot cameras. I really started enjoying the process of transforming an image from a somewhat dull, average image to what I thought was an edgy and enhanced image. Now let’s be honest (speaking to other photographers here), I think we all got a little crazy with our editing in the early 2000’s, am I right? Just because one can make an entire picture black and white except for the yellow flower in the middle, doesn’t mean one should! I digress. College came and I decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in Photography, only to change my mind shortly thereafter when I met all of the “artsy” photo kids who I didn’t relate to in the slightest. I knew I could learn things on my own with the rise of YouTube and the many resources online, so I wasn’t too worried about getting a degree in photography by this point!
During which time, friends started to notice my photography and wanted to commission me for their different sessions. “What in the what? People want to pay me to create? I’m all in.” Senior pictures, maternity pictures, family pictures, birthday parties… you name it and I was accepting the job. I would drive all over town to shoot locations then quickly race home, edit the images in iPhoto, return them to satisfied, paying customers and thus began the start of my photography journey.
A lot of you have watched me grow over the last five years, sharing in both small and large victories as I and my business have developed. It’s really humbling to look back five years ago and see who I was, what I knew (or didn’t really know ;)) and where I wanted to go. I had no idea at the age of 10 that my love to create would lead to a business in wedding photography and life as an entrepreneur. I grew up in a home where I was constantly reminded that I was smart, that my talents were given to me from God for a reason, and encouraged to work my hardest at whatever I did. These things combined largely helped my confidence to believe in myself. That’s the first step friends, believing in yourself. Believe you can do great things and you WILL! It’s really that simple.
Five years ago I believed. I believed that I could use my talents to serve others, I believed that I would learn the things I didn’t yet understand, I believed that God would use my dreams for HIS glory, I believed that I had something different to offer even though I didn’t quite know what that was at the time, I believed that God would direct my path, I believed that I was good enough, I believed I would succeed, I believed in myself.
In May of 2012 I graduated from college with a degree in Communication Studies, in May of 2014 I quit my day job to become a full-time, self-employed, creative entrepreneur and nearly one year later (almost) May of 2015 I’m living my dream. This hasn’t been with out sacrifice, endless hours of hard work, support from my family and my amazing husband who has always believed in me….like truly never doubted that I would be successful and continues to be a constant support for me. I get to do what I love for a living, how cool is that?
In the last five years I’ve learned that my purpose here is to love people as Jesus loved people, to make people feel comfortable in their own skin, to encourage others to follow their dreams, to create beautiful imagery, to write, and to bring authenticity to an otherwise photoshopped and media-centric world.
Jesus served others for His entire 30 year, Earthly ministry and since He’s given me this platform to love on others and do as He did, I’ll never stop pursuing that! Wherever He leads me, I will go and I’m so excited to see where it is that He’ll take me next.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4