Filtering by Tag: behind the lens

Behind the Lens: My Photographic Journey

One of my most favorite things about meeting new clients is the opportunity to hear their story.  How they met, fell in love, how he proposed, etc.  It helps me not only adequately tell their love story on their wedding day and get a feel for how they interact with each other but well, who doesn’t love a good love story?

Usually after we discuss their story, I will often get asked, “Well, how did you get into photography?” which is when I get to tell one of my own love stories:

For as long as I can remember I have always loved taking pictures however, I was awful at it.  Like seriously, it was bad.  In my head I could see what would make a good photo (composition) but actually getting that idea to come out in film—nope, not happening.  It would either be blurry, too bright or dark or worse yet, both.  So in order to combat that, I resorted to doing what I call “spraying and praying” that is, shoot like mad and chances are at least one of those images will come out semi-decent.   Sadly though, this is not an effective method of capturing your memories for a myriad of reasons.

Fast forward to my early 20’s, Patrick and I were planning our wedding and trying to balance the ever growing budget.  Meanwhile, a well-meaning relative was looking to gain some experience shooting weddings.  I had seen his work, it wasn’t great but he wasn’t charging me a ton either (just the cost of processing the film and prints) and that seemed to fit very nicely into my budget.  After all, I REALLY needed to ride in on a horse drawn carriage {sigh}.  Hindsight folks, it really is 20/20.

The unfortunate part of this part of the story is my wedding photos are awful.  I remember the day we received our images like it was yesterday.  I tore open the package and found six CDs of images and I was so excited to see them.  Together Patrick and I hovered around the computer to review them and it didn’t take long to realize they weren’t exactly what we envisioned…

A few years later, we found out we were expecting our first child and knowing how awful I was at taking pictures AND the painful lesson we learned from our wedding, I immediately expressed to Patrick that we needed to find an experienced photographer to capture our joyous occasion and I am so glad that we did!  From maternity pictures to Lukas’ first birthday we had a professional photo shoot every single month.  Yes, it was probably overkill and our house did look a bit like we had a shrine to Lukas BUT I don’t regret it.  Babies change SO much during those first twelve months and when I look at those images now it makes my heart smile (even if we did spend a small fortune on photos that year).

So when we discovered we were pregnant again in January of 2012, I was determined to:  1) have as many photos of the new child as I did of Lukas, 2) finally do something about my terrible picture taking abilities (or shall I say inabilities).  As luck would have it (although I wouldn’t really call it “luck”), a dear friend of mine who just so happens to be an amazing professional photographer, Joy Neville of Joy Neville Photography, decided to offer a one day, get off auto-mode and get to know your camera class.  It focused on learning all about shooting in manual mode and it truly was life altering.  Now, I won’t say that after taking that class I took great photos but it was that day that I finally understood why the images in my head could never come out the way I wanted them to.  More importantly, I never shot on auto-mode again.

Recently, Facebook started sending a daily notification called “Memories”.  Essentially, every morning you get an alert that shows you what you posted on that day in the past.  Most of these memories are hilarious—particularly the ones from my early FB days where I would post what I was doing as opposed to what I was thinking (silly, I know, but everyone was doing it).  Early this wedding season however, I got the best reminder:

Who knows what bad picture(s) I took that caused me to write that status update.  In all honesty, I do not even remember writing it; but as I read it over and over I could not help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  Gratitude to God for allowing my business to grow the way it has in such a short period of time and do what I love with people that I love, gratitude to Joy for being willing to share her knowledge in order to help others and gratitude that I never gave up.

"The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are"                                                                                                                                                                  -Author Unknown