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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

{ My Journey as a Photographer } -- AZ Photographer

{ Growing }

It's exciting to see growth in your work and have the satisfaction of knowing that you're getting more knowledgeable with what you're learning.

I see this whole photography experience as a journey.

I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm definitely not where I was.

I wanted to write this blog to inspire other photographers who are just getting their start in photography. Obviously, I have a long way to still go to get to where I'd like to be. But I believe that I WILL get there. For now, I'm learning and growing into this role of "photographer" and I wanted to encourage others who were just getting their start, that they can get there too!

When I first started shooting photography, it wasn't a perfect start and there were a lot of learning bumps along the way. Now that I have started, I keep going and I hope that this encourages you to keep going too. This is my photo journey from where I started and where I am at today....and I can't wait a few years from now to post where I will be, Lord willing! : )

YEAR: { Pre-historic age....wasn't high school forever ago? }
When I first started shooting photography, it was years ago as a high school yearbook photographer. It was my first attempt at photography, but definitely not something I was considering as a career. { Looking back, I wonder why I didn't consider it then, since it gave me such a thrill and joy, even back then when I was 15 years old}.

YEAR: { 2000 }

I had a LONG period of not photographing anything. I was too interested in learning how to figure-skate and was too wrapped up and focused on becoming an animator. I wanted to be an artist and photography hadn't even entered my mind. But, my college was offering a class on black and white 35mm photography and I needed a creative class for my degree, so I decided to take it.

Something happened.

Something sparked inside of me and just like when I was shooting photography at age 15--I felt happy and alive. I loved seeing my pictures after they'd been developed and couldn't wait to shoot more and more pictures!

But I HATED developing pictures. The "stop" chemical stunk to the high T and I hated standing for so long in a darkroom. Oh boy, booooring. I loved shooting pictures, but hated developing them. So, photography went back on the shelf and I kept pursuing a degree as an artist.

YEAR: { 2003 } -- Enter Digital Cameras and My First Attempts at Photoshop....Gulp.

{ Be kind please }

I didn't know the first thing about digital cameras or Photoshop and my amazingly sweet photo subjects were so patient with me while I tried to figure out how both of them worked.  My first year was a little disasterous.....

I honestly didn't know what I was doing and I wasn't taking any classes to help guide and direct me. I was purely a try-and-fail student. And oi.....'nough said. ; )

BUT! { Yes, there is a but! Thank goodness! }

YEAR: { 2005 }

2005 rolled around and I had continued to try-and-fail with my camera and Photoshop and I started to get the hang of things more and more. I was shooting photography as a fun side hobby, but it wasn't something that I was considering as a career at that point, because my images still weren't looking how I wanted them to. Closer, but not close enough. I took a portfolio photography class, but failed it. A big fat "F." A photographer? NO. Definitely not at that point.

YEAR: { 2008 }

I continued shooting as a hobbyist and found myself liking photography more and more, but still hadn't considered it as a career...Until....I took a wedding photography class with Jen O'Sullivan ( and learned the business side of photography. That was it! I could marry (no pun intended) my love for entrepreneurlship with my love for being creative! The perfect left-brain/right-brain balance which was perfect for me since I'm a left and right brain mix of person!

I was hooked!

I had my first "real" engagement photo shoot with Jen's class and found stuff just "clicking" (again, no pun intended, lol. I'm just full of those tonight, aren't I?). ; )
Suddenly, I wanted to photography everything all of the time!

Still, I didn't have the confidence that I could make it as a photographer. I was terrified that I would be like one of those people on American Idol that THOUGHT they could sing and really couldn't....I didn't want to say, "I'm a photographer" and have someone tell me that I wasn't, so I held back.

But with the encouragement of others, I started to look inside for confidence. I told myself, "No one is perfect when they first start. You CAN do this. You'll have to grow into your role, but you know that this is what God is calling you to do and you CAN do this."

I still wrestle with that sometimes because I'm not where I'd like to be, but I have to constantly remind myself that it's a journey and show myself just how far I've come. I don't have to look to the outward (people's comments) to tell me whether I can make it or not. I believe now that I can. It will take a lot of hard work, but I know that I'm called to this and will grow into my role, just as I have been doing all these years.

The President at my old college wrote me a personal letter that included that quote that says something like, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you don't reach it, you'll at least land among the stars."

That is my challenge to myself. I'm not in a competition with anyone else because we all have some special gift to bring to the table and all have a special way of interpreting photos. But I am committing myself to learning as much as I possibly can. I want to reach MY highest potential. I want to see where I can go with this.

I owe it to myself to try because I love it so much.

{ May 2011 }

{ May 2011 }

{ May 2011 }

{ August 2011 }

{ October 2011}

{ November 2011 }

What about you? Where are you at with your photography? If you love it, don't give up! Keep trying, keep growing, keep learning and keep burning the fires of passion in your heart and keep dreaming your dream!

If you try, you can only get better and better!


  1. It's so neat to see how one has gotten better. You are so brave for showing us all; your journey! You are pure AWESOMENESS (is that a word) I think it is.

  2. You are such a sweetie--thank you Carmen : )!!

  3. I wish I could show you some of my first photoshopping mishaps! It's so fun to look back and see how much you grown, isn't it? You're photography just continues to get better and better! I am so impressed by you! <3

  4. I wish that I could see those too, April! : ) Although I can't imagine them being terrible. You've always done such an awesome job--you've been an inspiration for me in my own photography. Thank you! : ) It IS fun to see the growth! I keep praying that I'll get better and better and eventually get to where I'd love to be someday. It's a challenge with myself--how much potential do I have, how much can I reach and how much am I striving towards that now? : ) Thanks for commenting!