What do you do after you’ve gone to college, obtained a degree and end up becoming a stay-at-home mom because your baby keeps getting sick at daycare?
There came a moment in my life where I said it wasn’t worth it, and I quit my job. My husband worked as an aircraft engine mechanic and me? My job description changed from social worker to the house manager — AKA mom. And then, I found out about Creative Live while checking my email one day. My curiosity was intrigued by the phrase “free photography classes”. I’d learned in high school from my Anatomy and Physiology teacher that there was no free lunch in life — meaning nothing worth having can be gotten for free. But, Creative Live proved me wrong. So whenever I wasn’t changing dirty diapers, or feeding, or cooking or cleaning, or helping with homework, I was soaking up as much information as I could.
Little did I know, my mom always toting a Polaroid camera around when I was little had a great influence on me. Plus, I’d spend every Saturday re-memorizing the photos in every album when I was supposed to be dusting. So, an old Nikon camera and a new baby that I desperately wanted to capture was my training ground. Most of my photos were out of focus or dark, but I kept practicing and continued my online training at every possible free moment.
With a heart full of gumption coupled with faith in God, I stepped out on a limb and followed the dream my husband shared with me when we first got married — to have a photography business. I had no idea at that time that there were so many different types of photography or what it meant to have a niche, but done is better than perfect. A sister from our church trusted us to capture her daughter’s senior portraits and that gave us the beginning of our portfolio. No matter where you are in life, you can use your talents for good. My mama and daddy taught me that. They also taught me that regardless of how menial your job may be, do it to the best of your ability. I guess that’s why starting over at a time in my life when I should have been settling more into my career taught me more about passion and humility than I’d ever imagined. I’ve learned to be an encourager and a consistent learner, not allowing my mistakes to make me surrender.
You know what else I’ve learned along the way? That this is more than a business. There are so many creatives out there, and photographers who have been in this way longer that I have. Yet, a little mantra that Natalie Franke started when she founded Rising Tide Society has taken root in me. Community over competition. So very simple, yet so impactful. Running a business means holding myself to the utmost integrity and providing service that makes people feel like they’ve been given the royal treatment. Capturing beautiful moments and memories to create heirlooms may be what I do, but how I do it is much more important. And that’s how an ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams makes a difference, one person at at time. I’m also here to ignite your dreams, so feel free to reach out and stay tuned for more doses of inspiration.