So, I've decided to start keeping a little journal here. Mainly to talk about the happenings in my photo life, but to also open up and "get to know". So much of what we do as photographers is incredibly intimate and I think it helps to know who you're working with. Plus, I like to talk. A lot.
Anyhoo, my ABOUT page tells you a bit about me (it's there just for that reason), but there's just so much more to my life than that.
I was always an artistic little brat. When I was little, I wanted to be an artist when I "growed up". (Say that with a tiny baby Southern accent. It's cute, I promise.) I wanted to be it all... every genre of art. Why settle on one? So as I grew up, I tried out every medium I could get my hands on... drawing, painting, singing, drums, guitar, piano, video, photos, crafts of all kinds. The only thing I never did was acting. I just don't have it in me.
I flip flopped around a lot as a teen and into my 20's with where my life and career was headed. At 19, I was set to go to school in Australia for music. Life had other plans. My sweetheart of a Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and there was just no way I was leaving him. During his 3 year battle (which he lost in 2005 after learning it had spread to his brain), I became very interested in photography. I knew that my time was limited with him and I wanted to be able to have pictures of him to always remember the last days we had together. After he passed, my interest accelerated to a new level. I became keenly aware of how this medium can affect us emotionally. I was in awe being able to document, in any way I wanted to, an accurate memory of something/someone I love. I was hooked.
I decided that year to go to college (after i had changed my major 4 or 5 times already) to study photography. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Would I have been able to figure out to use a camera and take pictures nicely without going? Maybe. But what I learned there gave me so much more of a foundation that I would have been able to accomplish on my own. There really isn't much gear out there that I can't figure out. School gave me that. I also learned how to do ALL the genres of photography that are out there, pretty much. Some I liked more than others. Some I'm glad I never have to do again.
I shot weddings, not out of pure desire, but more so out of happenstance, for almost 6 years. I was able to mix my love for photojournalism with my love for portraiture and get paid for it. Couldn't beat that deal. But, doing weddings was way more work that just shooting weddings. It was mostly me sitting at home all day, editing through thousands of images, answering a never ending email inbox, doing contracts, working on website/advertising pieces, etc, etc... It was a lot of work that I didn't want to be doing. I just wanted to take pictures.
So in December of 2011, I got rid of everything I didn't need (literally 2/3 of my possessions) and headed west to Southern California. I lived there with my boyfriend, Jim, for 6 months. We enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. It was literally a 6 month vacation. I needed it. When it came time for him to go back to school to get his Masters (in Philosophy), we packed up once again and headed to Brooklyn, NY. At this point, I was still on hiatus from shooting paid work, but I continued to shoot personally. It was great. In all the years that I shot weddings, I didn't have the time or energy to devote to shooting much of my personal life. What a sad thing. But this time was different. I documented out 2 cross country trips, our trip up the California coast to San Francisco, the trips from Connecticut to Georgia and everything inbetween. And then I got pregnant with our first child... and I documented the hell out of that. It was great to have that energy to make sure the moments of our lives were being recorded.
Ever since I've had my kids (I have 2 now!), I've made sure that I don't let their moments fly by without taking them in both mentally and physically. I have enjoyed it so much. It's hard work, but it's good work.
Through all that, I have still wanted to do what I love in the form of business. An entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in my blood (both my parents were self employed and their parents before them). I've been chomping at the bit to get back to it, but this time, on my terms. This time, I'm being a lot more selective in the work I take. Any time away from my kids is time that I can't get back. Money isn't everything to me, but the money has to be worth it to miss out on the action at home. So, having said that, I will only be shooting 5 weddings a year this time around. I don't want to be so flooded with office work that I can't enjoy my day to day. I'll be shooting more projects that feed my soul instead of feeding my bank account. Karma will carry me. I'm not worried about the rest.