This post is one of those posts I have always dreamed of writing. However, given that I have always thought about this day doesn’t change the fact that it is still very surreal and crazy to me that the day has actually come. Since I started my photography career there has been a lot of learning and growing, I mean ALOT. I was your typical kid…the one that always had a camera, the one that was deemed the “photographer” for all family events, all my friends knew I would have a 35mm film camera on me for everything we did (yes this was before digital was a “thing”) I was the girl always headed to the store filling out those film forms to send in 8, 10, 20 rolls of film because I was so excited to get back all the images and memories I had shot of our family Christmas, neighborhood block parties, or just the crazy random things I did with my friends. My 16th birthday party was captured on 35mm film even though digital had made its way into mainstream by then. This party was one that I would in turn end up looking back on quite a bit for some other reasons.
Looking back on those days of being the deemed “photographer”, I would have never thought 15 or so years later I would be taking that role and making it my career, making it what I did full time. As a kid I never knew this was something that I would have an undying passion for, and that it would be something I would be doing full time. Heck, I didn’t even know you could make that your career back then.
To be honest back when I was a kid I didn’t know the impact or grasp what kind of meaning being a photographer holds. As a kid you just think this is cool I’m taking photos just because that’s what you do right… there was no deep meaning to photo taking… I didn’t think anything about the importance of what I was capturing with my camera. I didn’t know that one day I would have people asking me for photos I took because it was the last memories they had of their loved ones before they had passed (both young and old), nor that I would be one of those people hoping I had captured memories of a close friend I had lost, I didn’t know it was the images they were going to one day show their kids and their grandkids, I didn’t know that it was those images they would look at of their wedding day to remember the love they once had that helped them fight through the tough days in their marriage and vow to make it work no matter what, I didn’t know that even though they may have just been photos for a senior graduation that to them it was the beginning of something life changing. All of these memories that I had the honor to capture meant so much more than just a photograph.
This past February, I took a workshop with an amazing friend and photographer, Chad DiBlasio and Jay Cassario in Granville, Ohio. It was a small intimate workshop we had only 3 attendees. I wouldn’t change the experience I had at that workshop for anything in the world. I would actually love to experience it again. Chad and Jay really pushed us to find out what our “WHY” was. Why were we photographers, why did we do what we did? It was something I had never really thought that deep on. I mean I knew that I loved taking photos, I knew that I had a pretty decent ability technically speaking, I knew I loved being creative, but I didn’t know the deep down reason why I did what it was I did. However after two days I had finally found my reason! Once I started digging and thinking on what my why was, and what it meant to be a photographer I must admit it was really hard not to cry… when you find your reason it’s very emotional. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room as each of us talked about our stories and then came to our why… What was my why? Well… the reason wasn’t because of anything I listed above it wasn’t because I just “liked” it or because I was good at it. It was because I had the most important job in the world. That job was capturing memories, preserving precious moments that can be lost, moments that can live on well past someone’s earthly life and memory. It was that what I was capturing were memories that help us relive moments… happy moments, life changing moments, and sometimes even sorrowful moments. Memories that help us tell stories to our children and or grandchildren. I was granted the task of capturing real, raw, authentic moments and memories. Also, part of capturing these moments and memories is providing a special experience for each person or couple I have the pleasure of photographing. I am there to laugh with them, rejoice with them, and even cry with them. I am there to not only preserve their memories of these special moments but to ensure their moment is as authentic as it can be.
So today is the day that is very bittersweet, I leave my day job, a job that I have had the honor and pleasure of doing for the last 7 years. I have made many friends and learned many things that I will carry into my own business. However while I leave with some sadness I also leave with joy, excitement and gratitude. Joy that I am moving onto a dream and passion of mine, Excitement for the journey I have ahead of me, and lastly gratitude that I have the ability to do a job that not only makes me happy but allows me the opportunity to capture memories and moments for each client and friend I meet along the way. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me but one thing I do know is it is sure to be somewhere wonderful.