I've always had a camera in my hand. I've always loved capturing fun and exciting and special moments. I used to play with those old school Polaroid cameras in my grandma's attic. Every Christmas I would ask for an updated camera of the one I had. I'm pretty sure I was selfie queen before it became a thing.
In high school (otherwise known as that time to figure your entire life out), I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I decided I wanted that because they didn't have to work during summers. I didn't think that my photography passion could get me anywhere and since college was something that EVERYONE was supposed to do, that was out of the question. I pushed it to the back-burner and stuck with the iPhone selfies.
I really felt that God was calling me to not worry about college. In my mind, since I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, college was kind of a waste of time. Why spend tons of money to get a degree that I wasn't going to use anyways? I felt like there was something different for me. Despite all of the backlash and judgmental whispers I received from well meaning people, I was confident that eventually I would know whatever God was calling me to. A couple of years later, I met my sweet husband. I seriously captured every single moment of our relationship. (Now, two years later, I can look back on the photos from our second ever date... such sweet times). That really brought back my love and passion for photo and capturing life's little moments. I asked my parents for a new camera that Christmas and thus reignited my passion for photography.
After marrying my husband, we moved to a new city and I had no job. I was pretty good at being a housewife (I finally nailed the laundry after a year). But I knew that I couldn't just sit at home all day everyday because then I would go crazy. "Should I have went to college?" Those thoughts started to creep in so I struggled with that for a while before my sweet and supportive husband nudged me to pursue what I loved and had a passion for... photography.
I'll be honest, at first, I was super scared. "What if I fail?" "What if I'm not even really that great and no one books a session?" I wondered what people would think of me. I loved photography and capturing people and memories but I didn't know a thing about lighting or manual settings or editing. So, I did what all wise people do...I spent hours on YouTube learning all I could. At first, I was too cheap to invest in anything but my time (which I have learned better now) but I learned as much as I could. I started taking photos of family and friends to get some experience. My dream of being a photographer was coming together...
In high school, I could have went along with what everyone was telling me to do which was go to college to spend money I didn't have on something I didn't have a passion for. During that jobless season, I could of gotten a job that I wouldn't of enjoyed (of course, if I would of had to, I would have. Being an adult is fun like that). I could of let myself be led by the pressure to make people happy. I could of let myself be led by the fear of failure to not step out in faith and start a photography business.
I realized that the passion I had for photography was part of the gifts and talents that God had given me. I had an eye for it, a passion for it, and I realized that that was a gift from God! I can't just waste that.
So, I took that leap of faith. I didn't do it for the money. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would even make enough to keep the business going. I just really loved photography and I wanted to pursue it. It was scary and exciting. My husband blessed me immensely with an amazing camera and my photography business took off. I'm roughly two years into it and I've grown so much. While I'm not making thousands and thousands of dollars and I may not be the best in town, I love it. Giving people captured memories on paper, treasures that last a lifetime.
I've always been hesitant to "follow my dreams" because as a Christian, I want to please and glorify God in my life. But I realized that everything can be done for Him. I have the opportunity as a photographer to bless others (in so many different ways!) but it's really more of a blessing to my heart.
Photography brings me joy and I want to use it to please Him and to give others a treasure that lasts beyond lifetimes.
That's why I decided to become a professional photographer.
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
--- Erin Hanson
If you are in the TN region and would like to book a session, let me know! I love meeting new friends and we do travel for weddings!
Read the original post here on my photography website: Why I Decided to Become a Professional Photographer
Do you have a story about how or why you chose to follow your passion professionally? Share it below!