When I moved my website over, I left most of what I had previously done behind. I wanted a fresh look and a fresh start. I realize, however, that leaves a lot of questions unanswered; questions that might be helpful to clients and potential clients alike. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes for every photographer and sometimes it is easy to wonder why I do what I do. The simple answer is that I love it. The not so simple answer is more complicated.
My photography journey started in high school. I had completed most of what was required of me and filled my schedule with photography, humanities and way too many Home Ec classes. I guess I figured that if I had to do my time, I might as well enjoy it. It might have served me better to attempt AP classes or even early college, but for some reason, probably fear and doubt, I made the choice not to attempt the more challenging route. Not that it was all bad. I found a passion for many different interests, from cooking to photography that have stayed with me for the last eighteen years. To be honest, I don't know if my photographic journey ever would have begun if not for that high school class. It was there that I was told I had a knack for it and that I learned to enjoy it immensely.
That was back in the waning days of film and I relished every aspect of it from processing the film to developing in the dark room. It was painstaking and often time consuming, but oh so worth it. Mostly I did photography for fun after that, interspersed with engagements for friends and family alike and even a few bridals. Then I married my amazing husband, had my first child two years later and hardly touched a camera until my second child was around one. Most of what I did at that point was experimental, but I was learning what looked good and what didn't, even if I didn't always know why.
During that time I also re-enrolled in college, so I didn't have a lot of time to pursue other interests. In 2009, while expecting my third child, I graduated from Weber State University with a BA in History. I am not sure what drove me at that point to really pursue the photographic process in earnest, but driven I was. It was like something stirred me from deep inside to make my passion something more. I also knew that if I wanted to pursue it, I needed to know more than I did. The problem was, I didn't know where to start. So I did what so many do now and I got on Amazon and started looking at photography books and their reviews. After much consideration, I finally I settled on Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and Understanding Photography. When they finally arrived I devoured them, meticulously taking notes and practicing. I was delighted to find that he also offered online classes that included feedback and with a little help from my ever supportive mother, I enrolled in the Art of Seeing. The experience that I had in that class couldn't have been better.
Since that time, there have been many more classes (from multiple sources), books, articles, online tutorials and more. I ask questions. I study other photographers, I try to unravel their photos- the things I love about them and occasionally the things I don't. Make no mistake, I am not any harder on them then I am on myself.
I once read that only true artists think they aren't good enough. I don't know if it is true, but I do know that I am constantly striving to get better, to offer my clients more, to be the best I can. It will probably be a life long pursuit. There are days when I wonder why I do it, or if I am good enough, but I can see so much progress when I look back through the years. That helps me when I feel like throwing in the towel. And, I still have that fire to keep going, even when it seems impossible to do so. It is more than a passion, it is a pursuit, a way of life, a stress reducer an expression of my soul, a way to help support my family and so much more.
I don't think I could have ever imagined that I would end up here when I took that first class. In fact, it seems like a lifetime ago and so much has changed. The photographic process of today is still as much of a process as it was in that first class, albeit a slightly different one. While there are those who still use film, I have made the choice to live in the world of digital photography. I don't enjoy Lightroom or Photoshop as much as I did the dark room experience, but it is still rewarding to see my photos and know that I am helping my clients make memories, that I hope will last a lifetime. Maybe you will be one of those people. If so, I look forward to meeting you and helping you create something special for your family.