The Road to Photography
"EVERYTHING HAS BEAUTY, BUT NOT EVERYONE SEES IT." - Confucious
Thank you for being here - it truly means a lot to me that you are taking the time to have a peak at what I do. So this is the place where I share a bit about my journey as a photographer, for the inquiring minds who would like to know! I wish I could boast about falling in love with the art form when I was a little girl after picking up my first camera at the age of 7, but alas, I can't. It didn't happen that way for me. I was likely far too busy watching Smurfs. Or perhaps building yarn houses outside, performing roller skating shows, strumming my guitar, making photo collages of my friends, or meticulously painting my bedroom walls or some other inanimate object in an atrocious fashion. In my younger years, it was not uncommon for me to paint anything in sight, and proceed to gift it to some poor, (unknowing) soul. Candle holders, picture frames, lamps, guitars, rocks... I tackled anything I could get my hands on, and would find myself lost in time when doing so. Looking back, there is no denying the fact that I was happiest when being creative in some capacity. Still am.
My parents encouraged my creativity and always made me feel that "my art" was a Picasso-like masterpiece, when truthfully, well... it just wasn't. My father seemed to thoroughly enjoy interpreting my "abstact" ridiculousness - while I seemed to be equally fond of entertaining his strange theories... so I continued pumping it out. Perhaps more than anything, I loved the feeling of creating something out of nothing - something that would last. Most often in an expression of love. I revelled in the sweet satisfaction that you get from giving something only you can give - a little piece of yourself. Your time... your imagination...your heart... your soul, joyfully invested to make another human being smile. That is what it was all about as a child, and in many ways, is what it is still about for me now, as a photographer. (Thankfully, my artistic style has evolved over the years. Amen to that!)
Passion. I have never had an issue with it. If anything, it's been problematic for me, because I have so darn much of it! When you are graduating from high school and the world is your OYSTER, how do you narrow it down to just ONE thing you want to do for the rest of your life? If there was such a thing as a career doing a little bit of everything, I likely would have chosen to do that. And I suppose in a roundabout sort of way, I have. My "Grad Blurb" in the high school yearbook contained the Pablo Picasso quote: Everything you can imagine is real. Yup, I've always been a dreamer (but for the record, I still believe it.) At that time, however, I chose to steer clear of any type of artistic focus, as I simply feared the inevitable "starving artist" designation. I decided to follow the path to teaching, to likely work with special needs individuals in some capacity and studied primarily English and Psychology. Fast forward a few years, I found myself with degree in hand, an acceptance into the education program at University of Calgary... and a whole lot of uncertainty. There was a powerful artistic/entrepreneurial fire burning within me that I felt I was ignoring. The desire had crept up on me, to create a life by design according to my own passions, and value system. There are many people in this world who thrive on structure, routine and consistency - nine to five type jobs suit them JUST fine, and the world needs those people. However, I am simply not one of them. This truth just slapped me in the face one day; it was unavoidable, and undeniable. The only thing missing was... well, I suppose a pretty significant chunk of the equation. The "thing" that I would passionately pursue, and ultimately "do!"
After being asked to take my el cheapo digital camera over to my best friend's sister's house to snap some photos of her children, it got back to me that she had received many compliments on her images - some oddly enough, thinking it must have cost her "a pretty penny." It was a fabulous (and bewildering) feeling, that someone had appreciated my 'art' enough to put it up on the walls of their home - thank you Heather Hunt! Not to mention the unwarranted pride I felt, having seemingly tricked people into thinking I had any inkling whatsoever, as to what I was doing. I began to fantasize about what I could do if I actually learned about photography and business. And the business of photography. Could I actually have a career infused with several of my passions? We spend so many of our waking hours working - I couldn't imagine a life doing anything BUT what I loved. As I found myself at the proverbial crossroads of life, I guess you could say that I fell into it, and took a seemingly nonsensical leap of faith. I literally had NO knowledge of business, and NO knowledge of photography, and only a compliment or two to go on. My journey began as a decision -- The words every parent wants to hear their child proclaim: "I think I'll be a photographer!" Yikes.
I pretty much just kept telling myself that I was a photographer, until I could finally say it out loud with confidence. It took a while. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Every artist was first an amateur.” I feel that God planted a seed in my heart that day in Calgary - and I also fervently trust that He doesn't plant such seeds, without providing the way. Over time, bringing you the right people, the right ideas, even the talent -- the appropriate doors will open, when you follow your dreams and make it your mission to become the person you were created to be. We're not meant to merely survive, but to thrive (in every sense of the word!) It hasn't been easy -- it's been a long and windy road to here... one day at a time, but I haven't looked back. While the journey has undoubtedly had it's ups and downs, I can't imagine life without it. I don't claim to be the world's greatest photographer, nor do I desire to be - just the best that I can be. I am completely self taught. I'm certainly not perfect. I've made mistakes. I've struggled. And I have plenty to learn. But I do have heart. And passion. And I can not help but see beauty almost everywhere, and in most everyone. Having a career that I am passionate about, where I feel I am being true to myself, making the most of my gifts and doing something that is meaningful for people - that is important to me. Not accolades. I believe that you... your family... your moments are worth artfully capturing - your life worth celebrating. I want you to see the beauty that I see in you. I want you to smile enormously, when you see the photos we've created gracing the walls of your home. I want my photos to contribute to the story of you, and the legacy of your family -- to be cherished for generations. I will leave the rest to my images. If something about them moves you, well, I'm honoured. And would love the opportunity to photograph you.