About My Path to Photography
I think, in the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to be a photographer. In my junior year of high school I learned to shoot, develop, & process black and white film. Those were the days before Photoshop became my dark room of choice.
In college, I decided to major in the visual arts with a focus in photography, which went well until I started to think about what I would focus my career on. I thought that weddings would be the most lucrative and sensible career choice… actually I figured it would be my only choice because I knew everything at 19.
It was during my second year of college that a friend who was getting married asked me to shoot her wedding. It was the first wedding I ever attended, the last wedding I ever photographed, and the straw that broke the photographer’s back.
I switched my major to journalism within the year. I wrongly assumed that if I didn’t want to do weddings, I’d never make it as a successful photographer. Like I said, I was 19 and I knew everything!
After diligently studying the New York Times, I had my first news quiz in my Journalism I class. I think I got a 30 (yes out of 100), totally embarrassed myself by disputing one of the answers and revealing my total ignorance of common geography, went to my car after class, and cried.
Journalism was not for me. Nevertheless, I toughed it out for the next two years and got my degree. I tried to write for a while after college. I even started an online literary magazine with a friend of mine. Then I tried to make some money writing online articles, but the writing went painfully slow and I was still working as a waitress and bartender to pay the bills.
I became desperate to find a career that I would love to wake up to, but I knew I had to make money too. That’s when I found my camera again. I mean, it had been there all along, and had even evolved to a digital body… but this was when I started to look at it as an opportunity once again.
I printed up 50 fliers about my soon to come portfolio building month: free photo sessions in June only. Although the flier said I would shoot babies, kids, couples, families, and dogs, (everything but weddings) I found myself handing them out at dog parks.
Before I knew it my portfolio was barking at me! So I guess I can’t really say I decided to get into this line of work… but I decided I needed a job I could love… and this is where my heart took me.
I will continue to let it lead the way!