I get asked all of the time “how did you end up a wedding and portrait photographer?” Well….my kids! In 2012 I was pregnant with my twins, Madelyn and Grayson. Just like every soon to be parent, I couldn’t wait to see what they looked like, how their personalities will be etc. I knew I wanted pictures of them. LOTS of pictures. So I bought a Nikon D5200 DSLR (back then I thought it was the biggest/baddest camera you could get HAHA) and we waited for their birth to arrive. When the day finally came, we took pictures with the camera and most of them turned out blurry! Blurry even on automatic mode. I wad devastated. I have a few that turned out well, but I wish more did. I wanted to print the pictures big and put them on the wall, but I wasn’t able to. In the first week, they grew a lot. Then the just kept growing (as you can imagine children do). I become frustrated with the camera and thought that it was broken. Well, it wasn’t the camera that was broken. It was the person behind the shutter. I want great pictures that my kids and their kids and their kids can cherish for years to come. I want all of my Christmases, Birthdays etc. to have images that tell a story. I want to create albums and print canvases. I want that freedom artistically.
So I decided to learn photography. REALLY learn it. I spent the next 5+ years reading, researching, growing. Eventually, people started asking me to take their pictures. So I did. I wasn’t ecstatic with my pictures, but I was still growing. The truth is, as a photographer, you should always be growing! How did I learn? Well, trial and error mostly. I made A LOT of mistakes along the way, but learned from every single one of them. I am by trade a Fire Captain for a local fire department. I decided when the twins were 2 that I would complete my Bachelor’s degree (most said I was crazy and never make it, but here I am with twins that are still alive and a bachelors degree, though my first marriage didn’t survive a lot of it- but that’s a story for another day). I use skills that I have learned through being a firefighter. Skills such as organization, command presence (being able to get everyone to move in the same direction), attention to detail, showing up on time and self-discipline. When I got remarried, my husband Bob came home after I graduated with a huge Apple box. He got me a 27” display iMac for my graduation present and told me he believed in me and it was time to expand into a photography business. I was excited and scared all at the same time, but I knew he was behind me 100%. So I just went with it.
Last year, I asked a photographer friend of mine how did she know she could shoot a wedding? It is a HUGE responsibility and you don’t get to redo the event. You get one shot. She said she felt the same way. So one day she just took the plunge. I decided to do the same thing.
The fact is, when you start out with a new camera or as a new photographer you are going to feel overwhelmed, or lost. I felt the same way (heck sometimes I still have to troubleshoot my way through). I am a believer that if you want something bad enough you will do anything to achieve it. Do you want to be a GOOD photographer (not just an okay one)? Do you want to spend less time editing in Photoshop (which I think is the devil)? Do you want to challenge yourself and be proud of what YOU created!?
So how did I get HERE? Well, I wanted to share my talent with other people. So I set up a photography business and found people who were willing to help me build my portfolio at a massively discounted price and have spent the last 2+ years growing that business. I created this resource, “Shutter Chaos” because I have learned a lot along the way and I want to share that too. Know that you are not alone and that I will be there to support you every step of the way.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me-