I hear a lot how photographers got their starts as little kids and then they took courses in high school or college. I was not that kid. I have always been attracted to the arts and known that is where my talents lie, but for the life of me could not find my niche. I tried everything I could get my hands in my small town in Washington. I was decent at most things like graphic design, pottery, painting, scrapbooking, sewing, and cooking. I found that I really excelled at dancing, playing the flute and working with and riding horses ( I know I know, but if you saw it through my eyes you would see that it is in fact an art!). Each one spoke to a different part of me, but none of them fit quite right. I had to give up dance earlier then I wanted due to a move and I poured myself into music and horses hoping to satisfy that artistic itch, but to no avail.
Photography first came on my radar the summer before my freshman year of high school. Our church holds a youth camp for a week each summer and my parents got me a camera for it. It was a 35mm. point and shoot, blue clear plastic thing of awesomeness! I had no idea what I was doing, it had no special features, but it was mine and that was all that mattered. I used that thing for the next four summers, before I packed it up for good. Even then it hadn't dawned on me that this was what I was looking for, I just wanted to immortalize every second. Shortly after that summer my parents purchased our family's first digital camera.
Time passed, things happened and suddenly I was in my senior year staring down graduation trying frantically to find myself and what would make me happy. I was so looking forward to spring break and visiting family in Germany, maybe that would be the kick I needed to get me headed in the right direction and boy was it ever! I had played with our family digital camera a time or two, but when my parents gave me my own for the trip it took on a whole new meaning for me. It was there, surround by all that history and culture, meeting new family for the first time and wanting to capture every second of it, that I realized the true power of photography. Maybe that is why I love Germany so much? I mean how could I not be inspired? I fell in love that week, with the country, the food, my new family members, just everything. I later realized that not only did I love taking pictures, but I was good at it.
Graduation came quickly after that and I went off to college in Idaho. While photography had started to become a real thing for me, it wasn't an acceptable career choice with the more opinionated part of my family, so I studied secondary education with an emphasis in history and forgot about photography. I had planned to be the most epic high school history teacher ever. It didn't take long before I realized I wasn't cut out to be a teacher and that I should have gone with my gut. About that time I met and married my husband! We talked long and hard about it and decided I would take a break from school to help him finish his degree, then I would come back after he finished. That was best choice I ever made, after marrying him of course!
In the years since I have discovered a few things. First being a photographer is a challenging, but fantastic and rewarding career choice. Second I have the talent and the drive to not only make a go of this, but to also give my clients the experience they deserve and a product I would gladly put my name on. Lastly, but most importantly this is what I meant to do with my life. This is what gives me joy and feeds my soul. Not just creating and capturing those moments and memories for myself, but being able to share my talent and do the same for others.
I began this crazy journey by myself, but I owe the continuation and drive to my amazing husband! Who, when he saw my anguish and regret over giving up so early on photography went and bought me my very first DSLR for our first anniversary even though we were poor starving college students surviving on ramen and little caesars. He found a way, so that I could have my dreams and hasn't stopped since.