How I found my direction.

During my junior year of college my father asked the question that I’m sure many parents ask: “What are you going to do after you graduate?”.  And my answer was pretty standard for a 20 year old: “I’m not really sure”.

Majoring in photography was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was actually my second choice when entering school as a freshman, but after my Photo I class, I couldn’t get enough. I learned how to shoot black and white film on my father’s old Minolta camera, developed the film by hand and learned how to properly print in the darkroom. My professor was tough but fair, always telling me how my photos were too dark and what would have made a more interesting composition. I would spend 20-30 hours a week in the lab with my headphones firmly attached to my ears, dancing my way through boxes of print paper.

By junior year when the question was asked, I knew that I was going to do SOMETHING with photography…. but what? I was in a studio class, so shooting products and commercial portraits was on the brain and I was convinced I would be a commercial photographer. But all of that would change after I was asked to shoot my first wedding.

John and Rachel were my first clients. A friend of mine, Sarah, told me her sister was getting married and was in need of a photographer. After thinking about it for a bit I decided that it was worth and shot and set up a time to meet them. They were a fabulous couple, very much in love and quite relaxed, and I felt at once that we were going to get along well. That summer my friend Ashley and I photographed their day and we had a great time. “Self,” I thought, “this could be good.”

Almost a year later I was on my internship and my pseudo-boss Amy and I were talking and she mentioned that her sister Jen was getting married in October and was looking for a photographer. This time I didn’t hesitate and offered to meet with her and Greg, her fiance, right away. Sitting in their living room with the entire family, we talked about packages, how the day would work and they looked over a sampling of my photographs. They decided to book on the spot and I was thrilled!

Fast forward to Saturday morning, October 13th. It was 70 degrees and sunny, with a light breeze. Jen and Greg both looked stunning and their wedding was amazing.  Over the next few months, the three of us worked together to pick out an album and photos they loved. I spent hours laying out the final page designs and as soon as the book was ready, we got together. Now here is the pivotal moment in my career. When I showed Jen and Greg the album, Jen cried. Then I cried. She was so happy with the album!! She could not say enough kind words to me that night and when I went home, I felt absolutely on top of the world. That was it, the moment that changed everything and gave me my direction.


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