Starting when I was twelve and using my first camera, I never knew where photography would take me. I knew I liked it. I knew I was pretty good at it. I knew it was fun… but also required a LOT of TIME, ENERGY, and PATIENCE.
After graduating college and spending 3 years and 8 months working at First Heritage Mortgage, today is my last day there. It feels bittersweet. It was my first real adult job. My godfather is the president of the company, my uncle works there, and my dad works there. But from the moment I started at FHM, everyone knew that I wasn’t pursuing a career in finance. It was no real surprise that someday I would decide to leave. Everyone was always asking me, “Why are you here?… You’re a photographer…”
For all this 3-plus year period, I found I worked all the time. I worked 8:30-5:00 at FHM, got home and logged onto my computer to continue working on photography projects; working until 2 or 3am… not an exaggeration! I worked 14+ hour days and always felt it could be more (and that is not even accounting for the weekends, where I was doing the actual work of shooting weddings and families and portraits)! Can you imagine how challenging it has been trying to meet up with friends for a little fun-time? (What’s that? Ha!) But, at the end of these 3+ years, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am grateful to have had steady employment while building my “other life” as a photographer. I am almost a little shocked that I am “here” now, ready to take this leap of faith and commit all of my energies to my passion of photography.
I’m jumping into the unknown because there’s no better time to start than now… Just like it says on any motivational poster you’ve ever seen. I am SO many emotions. I’m ECSTATIC. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m happy. It’s every one of those things. Photography changed my life in 10th grade during my first photography class and now I feel like I’m graduating from First Heritage Mortgage to pursue the career of my dreams (and daydreams).
When I talked over the idea of making this decision with my mom and dad… I cried. I can never thank my family and friends enough for their never-ending support of me and my business. Their encouragement of me, and what they call my gift for seeing things through the eye of an artist, has been instrumental in me believing in myself. It means the absolute world (actually universe, because that’s bigger) to me that they always support me and push me to do what I love to do. This has not been a solo road. I haven’t traveled it alone. I’ve had my friends, my family, my teachers, my mentors, my photography friends and everyone else in between guiding, helping, pushing me to be a better person and photographer. I’m excited for this next step in my life and can’t wait to look back in a year and see all that I’ve done and accomplished.
Thank you thank you thank you to everyone for your support!!!! I love you all! If you were to have told me at age 18 that at 26 I would be a portrait and wedding photographer with my own business and quitting my other job to pursue it full-time… I would have said…. “HAHA, righttttttttttttt!. You’re crazy!”