Whenever I get the opportunity to photograph a new client, the one question I am asked every single time is, “How long have you been doing this for?” I love this question, because it doesn’t have a boring numerical answer and allows me to share a bit of myself with my clients.
Photography has been a part of my heart since I was so young. I have one vivid memory of a hot summer day at my aunt’s house, stretched across the grass and posing with my mother and brother for a few shots on our point-and-shoot film camera. I nervously asked if I could try taking some photos, and when my mom said yes I eagerly grabbed the camera and turned it from it’s natural landscape to portrait orientation – which apparently was a pretty impressive move for my age because it garnered a few laughs from my mom and aunt.
As I grew up I watched my mother develop a passion for photography and start her own business. She set up a dark room in our basement and I got to help her make the exposures and rock the pans of solutions. I remember watching the images appear and thinking this was pretty close to magic. She took me along to photo sessions (go single moms!) and I got to see how she worked with her clients. She switched to digital and let me take the camera she relied on for her business out to the park so I could take my own photos. She took the time to look at my work and compliment things like subject and composition. And when I was 13 years old she took me along to be her second-shooter at my very first wedding. She let me suggest poses to the clients – some make me cringe to think about, but I learned so much about connection on-camera. My entire childhood I wanted to be just like my mom, and it’s so amazing to me that I get to follow in her footsteps.
Fast-forward to 2013 and me waiting for our first child to be born, and I realised that I could use photography as a way to work while still being at home with my baby. I started my own business and fell in love with photography all over again as I began to play around with styles and viewpoints, finding my own voice in this very big industry. I found that I was drawn to emotion, connection, movement and story within a photograph, and I think that is the very core of my work.
So, technically, I have been “doing photography” for 12 years. Looking back on my journey to where I am today is a bit overwhelming – because I’m still the girl sending my work to my mom to see what she things (really!) but I’m also completely convinced that I have found my calling in photography.