My photography journey
It starts back on Halloween 2009 when I dropped my point and shoot camera while taking pictures of my toddler trick-r-treating. He was 1 of 5 baby oompa loompas, waddling down the sidewalk as Willy Wonka led the way. It was the cutest and creepiest thing I'd seen, so naturally I had to take pictures. First the kids were scared to even look at each other. Everyone was orange. They had no idea that their terror was our amusement so as each one cried (and we hid our laughs), we rubbed their cute little green heads until they settled down and it was time to get their trick-or-treat on.
House to house we went. Each person to answer a door, did so with laughter. They were adorable. We were only about 30 minutes in when my oldest son who was two at the time, was falling behind the pack. It was the perfect opportunity to snap a solo pic of him, carrying his little bag full of all the candy I was going to eat later. Just as I took the photo, my camera slipped from my hand and fell to the ground. I quickly picked it up and tried to turn it back on but it was dead as dead could be. I was devastated. I took pictures of EVERYTHING. That camera was basically another limb on my body. I always had it. Luckily, I was still able to retrieve the photos or I would have never been able to re-live that day like I just did while I was scouring Facebook for the photos below.
Fast-forward to December
It's Christmas now and I spent 2 months researching new cameras. I finally landed on a Nikon model that I liked but there was no way I could afford it at the time. That didn't stop me from dropping subtle hints to family. I thought "there's no way" but that little part of me was also saying "anythings possible". As we all opened our gifts one person at a time (a tradition growing up), it was my turn. My gift was way to big to be a camera. As I opened it, of course Im trying to figure out what the heck it could be. A radio? A toaster oven? What is this thing?! As the paper comes off, it looked like a giant lunch box. At the time, I worked in the kitchen at my sons daycare. I didn't bring a lunch to work, I stuffed my face all day long for free! But its what was inside the big lunch box...MY NEW CAMERA! The lunch box was actually a camera bag that photographers use to carry their gear in but I knew nothing of the sort so I continued to refer to it as my lunchbox for years.
Learning how to use the camera
I spent a lot of time in the next few months trying to actually learn how to use the thing. I googled and watched YouTube videos, I even read the manual (wha?!?!). I was determined to figure it out. I didn't want to take pictures in automatic mode because I wanted to be able to control things like the light and that nice blurry background behind the people in the photos.
Now its March and I'm thinking that people are probably so sick of me sharing photos of my kids and cats on Facebook. But that didn't stop me. I posted some St. Patrick's day pictures and went on with my day. Later that evening, I was going through my notifications and one comment hit me hard. It was from my childhood friend Casey and it read:
"Em you would make an Awesome Photographer! You really have the eye for it!"
I thought about this comment a lot but knew there was no way I was good enough to make money taking photos. So I kind of put it on the back burner. But I was still trying to improve my skills and continue trying to learn. One day in August, I decided I was going to actually try to do a photoshoot with my two year old (the oompa loompa). We got a cute outfit and headed to a pretty barn in Olcott that I always wanted to take pictures of. I posed him, he pouted, he ran away, he screamed. He smiled some, threw his sucker on the ground, continued eating it. It was honestly the most stressful 45 minutes of my life and I never wanted to do it again! But when I went home and downloaded the photos, I thought "Ok, Ok. I think these are actually pretty good photos". Even though I wanted to rip my hair out and throw my camera against the barn at times, it was worth it when I saw the photos! I wanted MORE!
My first paid session was a 50th birthday party. After that, it was a newborn. And then another newborn, and another. Eventually I started photographing children and families. I put together themes like "Beach Bums" and "Alice in Wonderland" (which still to this day is being shared on Pinterest).
Everything just kind of started happening whether I wanted it to or not. People were actually paying me to take their photos and I could not even believe it. That's when the business side of things start coming into play. I need to be legal but first I needed a name.
Ill save that for another post.
If you're still here, thanks for reading. Until next time, tell your dog I said hi!