April 6, 2017
If you have known me for long, you know that I have been doing photography for over 6 years. I have always found an interest in creating art through the lives of others. I went to college and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling.
I began my career as a Case Manager upon graduating in 2013 and worked in two counties with families and children on the edge of becoming a Dept of Children’s and Families case. It was one of the most stressful and rewarding careers I have ever been in. I worked hard, I loved spending time with the kids, but the office I was in was over an hour from my home and I was working 10 hour days with the drive. I was exhausted, drained and burnt out. I felt the need to leave my job and take a break from counseling.
I had a hard time coming to this decision because I had worked so hard for the last 6 years in becoming an expert in my field and learning how to serve others. I didn’t want others to judge me for not working in my field and for wasting my talents. But I took the leap and jumped into the creative industry. I didn’t have enough faith to pursue my photography full time yet, So I began working as a Multi-Media Specialist for a governmental agency. The job itself was fun and allowed me to express my creativity. I felt less stress, but it wasn’t long before I felt like I was wasting time. I could work 30 years pursuing someone else’s creative projects and investing in another business, but my brand was lacking and that saddened me.
I realized I was working full 8 hour days to come home and work full time at my business. However, it wasn’t really professional to be calling and emailing others at midnight, so I soon realized what I was doing wasn’t working. This is about the time when fear set in. I have always been responsible about keeping my resume clean and committed to any job I am in. I dedicate myself to any position I am given and I work hard. But I was discouraged. I was tired. I had worked 10 months in a job and I couldn’t imagine quitting. Society says that’s unprofessional. Society says you should work in your field. Society says you work for your retirement and you rest later. I had great benefits, a boss who liked my work, but I wasn’t happy. I felt unsteady at the thought of not only not working in my field, but now the thought of not working for a company and having a steady salary.
What was I going to do? What if people didn’t book? What if people hated my work?
I had a Bachelors degree but my life wasn’t playing out the way I thought it would. I thought I would be an excellent counselor who could handle the stories of abuse and work with families and separate my heart from them. I was so wrong.
I resigned from my job in September of 2016. I was terrified. But immediately after my last day I felt relief and strength. No more what if’s. If I failed, I could always go and find a job. However, if I never left, I may have never known where this creative road could take me. My business started booking more than my previous income within one week of taking this leap.
I see my husband more and I absolutely love what I am doing. My time is spent working on my website, editing photos, meeting with clients, speaking with my lawyer, shopping and researching new equipment. I am in awe as I look at how far my business has come since September. I have reached goals that seemed unreachable. I have purchased my dream camera and my dream computer in the same week and I get to connect with people and create art for them.
Often times people see photography as a luxury, but I beg to differ. Photography is an investment in your memories. You may never get that moment back. When people leave us in death, deployment, etc., these images make use feel close to them. They remind us of the moment. I enjoy what I do because it is a type of therapy for me and for those I photograph. The idea that someone can capture a moment and save it to be cherished years from now is beyond breathtaking. It’s unbelievable.
When I show up to a shoot it’s a mixture of nerves and excitement. Knowing I can help people see themselves the way others see them and help them to take a break from the norm and have fun in the moment. These memories, these moments, these smiles, these giggles, they won’t be the same tomorrow. It’s so important to cherish them. That’s why I do what I do. To be clear though, my degree isn’t of any less of value because I am not working as a counselor. I use my counseling skills daily in my relationships with others and in my photography career. I counsel people behind my camera in a very important way, I remind them that life is only but a vapor and we have to embrace the moments we get because too often they fly by and we have missed them.
My second wedding 2012 My most recent wedding 2016
If you are questioning how you spend your days or what you are pursuing, I beg you to find it in yourself to question the society norm and find your calling. It would be a tragedy for you to be on your death bed feeling as if you have wasted your talents. Don’t miss the moment.