How did I get here?
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.”
I am a wedding photographer and my journey starts where most photographer journeys start. One day a camera found its way into my hands, I discovered the joy of creating something out of nothing, something to last forever and I didn’t look back. I took pictures of my siblings, the dog and the outdoors.
Then one day, a friend asked me to photograph his wedding. I had no idea what I was doing and looking back, I probably shouldn’t have taken the job! But, thankfully, it all worked out well. Half way through post-processing, I found myself thinking, “Why on earth would anyone want to do this? It’s so much work!” But then, the pictures were edited, the albums designed and I was smitten. A few weddings later, I wanted to go steady with this wedding photography thing. After about my fifth wedding, I was truly in love and knew I was made for this.
Have you ever felt that way about something? That overwhelming, heart bursting, “THIS IS IT!” feeling? If not, I pray that you do tap into that part of your soul that God has placed in you. Your purpose. At the time, I thought it was just a fun job. It was a great part time gig! Thankfully, the jobs I worked through the years allowed me to do photography on the side. The retail job wasn’t as easy to work around, but thankfully weddings are booked way in advance, so I could take off. And I was still in the early stages of the business.
After the retail job, I landed an IT job, with perks of on the job training in the programs that I needed for my business. What a blessing! Learning about what I loved and getting paid for it! A few years later, I was working as an admin assistant and I knew this would be my last job. After a few jobs that lost steam after about a year (because I wasn’t doing what I was made to do), I knew I wouldn’t go for another “filler” job. In the midst of this “last job” I married my best friend, biggest fan, business partner (even though he didn’t know it yet) and love of my life, Bret.
For years, I longed for the day I would go full-time in photography. I have never dreamed about something so long in my life.
“A loving heart has waited long to see;
Those words will be fulfilled to which she clings,
Because her God has promised faithfully” Streams in the Desert – July 1
I read these words through tears. All evening, I had been searching for the answer. Only a few hours ago, I was offered the new position at my last 9-5 job. As soon as it was offered, I knew my dreams were coming true. When Bret came home from work, I read him what I found. His first response was, “it doesn’t say she!” After I pointed out the words, he agreed that this was God saying yes. That was the moment I started the third most exciting journey of my life, full time photography.
The first greatest journey was when I asked Christ into my heart, the second was when I said I do to my husband. This love of photography had started roughly ten years prior. I took photos of everything and anything. Then I was asked to shoot a wedding of a friend. When it was all said and done, I was in love. I spent the following 8 years growing my business. I had to work the 9-5 jobs to pay the bills but I always dreamed of the day I would be a full-time photographer. It had such an allure. It seemed like THE perfect job. I mean, wouldn’t you want to work for yourself? Make the rules? Make your own schedule? It’s the life!
I’m sure if you’re already a small business owner, you’re laughing at my naivety. I’m laughing at myself. What a crazy road it’s been so far. The past two and a half years that I have been full time have been the hardest, most blessed, most tearful, most joyful I have experienced yet.
The area that is the most exciting is that even when it is darkest, God has given us exactly what we need when we need it. Not what we want when we want it.
Everything I do is for His glory…and if there is an area that I don’t give Him glory…you better believe He loves me enough to challenge my thinking.
This is me at one of my first weddings. Even then I was loving my clients and crying when I gave toasts to them. 🙂