The Reason.

199756078_506524760661406_4085384484231135846_n.jpgIf you ask a photographer why they do what they do or what made them choose their career path, most will give a very similar answer. They may say that they’ve had a camera in their hand since they were a child. Or they’ll tell you how much they love having the ability to transform an image while adding their own creative touch. And while this is all completely true, sometimes these are just the “short answers.” For someone like myself, my reasons run a little deeper.

Our Childhood Preserved…

Like anyone else, when you think back on your childhood there are things that you remember clear as day and things that you don’t. Sometimes a relative will try to tell a detailed story in an effort to joy your memory, but you just can’t recall. This is proof that sometimes a story just isn’t enough. Sometimes you want and need to SEE things for yourself. My parents and grandparents made sure to give us that opportunity.

Whether it was a milestone being met or just catching us simply showing our personalities, they were there with camera in hand, ready to capture each moment. Looking back, I remember my grandfather always following behind us with his video camera. Birthday celebrations, family get-togethers, Thanksgiving, Christmas, you name it! He was there capturing smiles and laughs, silly dances, or doing little interviews asking where we are and what we’re doing that day. These videos were shot in the 90s so they were all shot on a VHS Camcorder. I remember after the tapes were full, he would pop them out and be sure to label them accordingly. Because technology is constantly changing, it’s a little hard to find a VCR to watch all of the home movies on, so he had them all converted to DVDs. It’s nice to know that all of that footage is there for us to watch and one day, our kids will have access to them as well. I guess we can consider my grandfather the unofficial videographer of the family!

195759683_207584461225509_2750695573526305316_n.jpgNow if we’re giving out unofficial titles, I would have to give my mom and grandmother the title of “Family Memory Preservationists!” There have been countless times where we’ve been discussing memories with my mom and she says “I have a picture of it somewhere!” And indeed she does. Boxes upon boxes full of moments she knew she wanted to hold on to. I love pulling out those boxes, sifting through each photo and listening to her or my father explain the events and emotions that exist behind them. My mom was always a fan of getting professional photos taken of us. She has booked her fair share of professional sessions but she never missed an opportunity to capture those candid moments of us right at home. I’d like to think that she inherited that from my grandmother.2021-08-17_0001.jpgShe has albums and albums filled with candid moments that they’ve captured of myself, my siblings, cousins and other family members. From birthday parties to summer vacations at grandma’s house, these albums are packed with moments many of us don’t even remember! When my cousins come into town, we often find ourselves gathered around these albums to take a look back at our younger selves and some even comparing what they looked like to what their small children look like today. I guess you can say my love and appreciate for photos and photo albums were sparked by my family. It’s so interesting to see how different parts of our lives tie into one another.

Fear of the Unknown…

As a little girl I worked with babies and young children quite a bit. And like many other women out there, I used to daydream about the life I wanted. You know the song. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. I’ve known from a very young age that I wanted to be a wife and a mother. But of course, as a child, there are certain problems that you may be shielded from until you are “of age” or until these problems arise in your life. And when they did arise in my life…it hit me like a Mack truck.

In 2018, my gynecologist uttered the word “Endometriosis” to me for the very first time. After months of tests and lab work, she narrowed down the possible cause of my symptoms. Endometriosis. She explained what it was, possible treatments, and that it is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. “Infertility.” Every word that she said after this faded into the background. Are you sure? Could it be something else? How do you get rid of it? All of these questions raced through my mind and worry of surgery consumed me. For those that may not know, endometriosis can only be diagnosed by performing laparoscopic surgery. “I’ve never had surgery before.” “Is surgery really the ONLY way to properly diagnose this?” “ARE YOU SURE?” I had asked just about every question that popped into my head and still felt unsettled so my mother suggested that I get a second option. I scheduled the appointment and spoke with the doctor at length. She sat with me and dissected every concern that I had and answered every question. Once my mind was put at ease, we scheduled a surgery date. It was happening.

As the weeks leading up to surgery day went by, all of the “what if’s” began to flood my mind. What if they get in there and it’s REALLY bad? What if they have to remove something? What if I have to go through IVF when I’m ready to have children? What if that doesn’t work? Surrogacy? Adoption? What if I can’t carry my own children…? Questions that you don’t even want to think about at the age of 22 but this was my new reality. Months of unexplained physical pain. Emotional pain. Depression. All while trying to put on a brave face everyday so no one knows. Through lots of tears shed and many prayers said, my mindset began to shift. Those sad feelings began to fade away and I was just ready to get some answers. After joining a handful of Facebook groups centered around endometriosis, I began to learn that many other women of all ages are living with this disease and fighting it daily. Seeing so many women share their stories with complete strangers made me feel less alone. They shared everything from ways that they cope with their symptoms to pregnancy announcements after years of trying! These women were a shining light in what had gotten to be a very dark place for me. It was time to answer the big question. After about an hour on the operating table and some time in recovery, my doctor came in the room and gave us the answer we’ve been waiting for. It was confirmed. Three small endometrial lesions were found and ablated. I instantly felt relief. Finally. A real answer. Now more guessing. No more tests and labs. Now we know.

Everything Comes Full Circle…

As a write this, thinking back on all of the moments leading up to my career chose get me a bit emotional. In those moments, I would have never guessed that these would be key players in what I would discover to be my DREAM job. See that little lady on the far right? She was the first baby that I picked up any sort of camera to capture. My best friend called me at 2AM and asked me to meet her at the hospital. It was time to welcome her first born into the world. As the hours of waiting passed by, she looked over at me from the hospital bed and asked if I could some video footage and I was beyond excited! I hoped up with my iPhone and got to work grabbing video of the room, hospital equipment, monitors, you name it! I made sure to capture every second of her delivery as well as the blissful moments of mom and dad embracing their brand new baby. I sat in the corner of her recovery room, brought in all of the footage, and I edited them together. Still to this day, she cherishes that video. The next day, I went back up to the hospital to visit with them. After being there for about 30 minutes, the hospital newborn photographer came in. As we watched him work, I asked SO many questions. I was so intrigued! Lucky for me, he did not hesitate to share his knowledge. He told me how he got started, what his schedule was like, and told me that there are photographers all over the world that photograph newborn babies and their families full-time! I was floored. This sounded like a dream! I went how later that day, dove head first into research and the rest is history.

After counting hours of learning and money invested in proper training, I created a business for myself in what I feel to be one of the most amazing fields out there! I absolutely love capturing and preserving the legacy of each and every one of my clients. Seeing their faces light up once their artwork is delivered makes it all worth it. (And snuggling sweet babies is just the icing on the cake!) I am truly passionate about what I do and I can’t wait to work with you!