Charlie is staring at me with one eye (the other is behind a frame) as I lie here in bed. The last couple of minutes has been a flip-flop of scrolling through old pictures on my computer, being jumped on by a dog and having my hand get a surprise lick when it gets too close to the edge of the bed.
I got my first camera in middle school. I had been asking for a camera for so long and my friends had some pretty nice ones. When I finally got one, I knew right away it wasn't what I wanted (I know, I must have been a snob). I distinctly remember my Dad telling me that it was good to have as a practice camera. A practice camera??? The screen is the size of my thumb nail and there are only three megapixels!!! I'll be honest, the camera was a piece of work, and I say that in the kindest way possible. Now that I have some years on me (only a couple, but it is enough), I know he was right in getting me that camera. I am sure I threw it around and didn't really appreciate it. It also helped me build character when my freinds would make fun of me and my camera. I still have it and I think I will always keep it as a reminder of where I started and where I am now.
I started taking pictures in high school of friends who asked me to shoot their senior portraits. That turned into taking engagement pictures, then more engagement pictures and then bridal pictures-and now, weddings and making videos of those weddings.
As I was scrolling through all my old photos, I thought it might be interesting for you, and extremely humbling for me, to recap where I started with photography and how that has led me to where I am now. I, personally, think it is really interesting to see how much I have learned about the balance of technicality and creativity, lighting, exposure, equipment and styling.
My senior year of high school, Allie (yes, this Allie), was the first one to ask me to do an actual photo shoot. I was so excited. I used my Dad's Canon Rebel, which also made me really excited seeing as I used that piece for quite some time to take pictures.
And this one is just for fun...
My next photo shoot was in 2008 and it was Allie and Joe's engagement photos. Once again, they asked me to take their pictures! I think I owe Allie for continually believing in me. This was my sophomore year of college.
Not long after, Emilie, Jacob's sister, graduated from high school at the end of my sophomore year and I took her senior portraits.
In 2009, I got to edit Allie and my sister's wedding photos. This experience taught me that it is a lot harder to edit photos if you did not take them yourself. I have a set style in mind when I shoot and it just feels wrong to edit someone else's picture.
My brother and Heather were next to ask me to take their engagement pictures. I did two different sessions with them because I was not completely satisfied with the first.
And then my Dad and I took a trip to Charleston in April of 2010 to take her bridal portraits. I think this is when I really started to understand composition.
In October of the same year, I took family photos of Jacob's brother's family.
To end 2010, I took pictures for Brian, my best friend's (Sarah) boyfriend, who attended North Carolina School of the Arts. I just also have to say that I love these people. She is one of those friends that you can pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it has been since you have seen or talked to her. She also has the same sense of humor as I do which is rare to find, especially for us.
In 2011, I was busy trying to finish school and graduate, plan a wedding and get married, fight mono, build a house and move. I did find time to take college graduation pictures for Katelyn, though.
Once again, Allie got me a job taking pictures at her company, Salem Printing.
After two or three years, in November of 2011, I had finally saved up enough money to purchase my own camera. And boy, does it make a difference. I was then able to take Marcy and Daniel's engagement pictures in November of 2011.
And in January, I took their wedding photos and went on to make my first video ever.
I did a shoot last week at Rebecca & Co. and I have weddings, engagements, bridals and family portraits all booked for the next couple of months. I look back at where I started and where I am now and I can't help but to be completely humbled and grateful to the Lord for his many, many blessings in my life. My life is never perfect, but it is good and I feel satisfied knowing that I am a child of the mighty King who takes care of me in every way.