A Decade Ago...
Time is a strange thing. 10 Years a go we were preparing for my daughter's graduation from high school and I realized that I would have to use her "good" camera to document her graduation ceremony. So she agreed to let me use it just this one time. Now, as a professional photographer, I can say "It has been a great decade of photography !
Hard to Imagine
It really is hard to imagine how photography has changed my perspective. I am constantly looking for photo ideas, watching how the light changes everything, "collecting" locations that I'd love to photograph and generally seeing things differently! I have taken photos of such a wide range of things, places, and people. I've spent hours sitting in the middle of a field trying to get the perfect photo of the Milky Way and ran out of my house (in the middle of dinner) to capture an incredible sunset!
One year I took a photo every day. Sounds easy, right? Well, actually it is very difficult to discipline yourself to set aside time every day. There were many days that I was getting ready to go to bed and realized that I forgot, so I picked up the camera and made something happen. Sometimes they were actually good! lol
Becoming a Professional
When I started to take photos I had no intention of becoming a professional photographer. I couldn't imagine anyone paying me for my photos and I loved taking photos of things, not people. I had a couple people purchase images. (I had no idea what to charge) I gave photos as gifts, but never thought that I would actually charge for my photos. During my yearlong journey of photography I found a ton of resources about how to do this and how to do that. I was like a kid in a candy store. I couldn't focus on one thing, but throughout the process I learned all about my camera.
And then it happened... One of my friends and fellow music teacher asked me to do engagement photos for her. I had no idea what I was doing so I started learning as fast as possible. That's when I found out that I can be obsessive about learning. I've always found new things to learn and feel that I can master many skills, but this was actually photographing people! What if they don't cooperate?! Taking photos of things was easy, but people?! But I couldn't have asked for a better first session. We went all of the city and generally just had fun. It was more like being a tourist (with a camera) than a photographer. I now like to call them my first family of photography! I eventually took photos for them for their wedding day, family photos, holiday photos and many more occasions with their extended family.
Finding a Niche
So after a couple weddings, many families, group photos and even a couple branding sessions I started to realize I have one real passion: Seniors, especially artistic seniors. I loved making photos for them that capture their true personality, their passions or just capturing the best photo that they have ever had. Priceless experiences that came with photos they will love forever is such a thrill for me.
If you know me, one of my super powers is an ability to create a stress free environment, whether I'm teaching you how to play a high C on trumpet or posing for your senior photos. Almost ever senior session is the first time the have had professional photos and that can come with stress, What do I wear? what do I do with y hands? What if it rains on my session? What do I do with the photos now? I can totally understand all of these questions now and help you through this experience without stressing about every decision!
... and One Year!
So after teaching music for 33 years, I decided to retire and become a full time photographer just about one year ago. It was a very hard decision to leave a job I love for a new passion, but it was time. One of the best things about being retired (technically) is that I have total control of my time and energy! I can focus all of my attention on my "new" occupation and provide a stress-free experience for all of my clients!
As I''ve said, last year's decision was difficult, but I wouldn't change a thing about this year! In the past year I've been able to start on my studio/property that will eventually be an incredible home for my photography journey! I've been able to make my client experience something that is truly special and can't wait to start on another decade of photography!