Hello friends! I love sharing my story about how I began this wonderful business of mine, and I’m so excited to share it with you all today!! This isn’t something I usually bring up a lot, because every photographer has similar stories of “how they started,” however, I think it can still be interesting! So here we go!!
I’ve always been a really creative and pretty entrepreneurial person. I have always loved art, I used to be really into pencil drawing and digital paintings! I even sold my artwork via an online website in middle school and made a few hundred dollars at it. When you’re 13, that’s big bucks! ;) I also really loved photography, but coming from a military family, I moved around a lot, so I didn’t really have a chance to establish myself and do anything with it. I took a lot of pictures while living in Alaska of the mountains and scenery and thought I was going to be an amazing nature photographer… that didn’t exactly work out. ;) But I also took a lot of pictures of my dog, I literally have thousands, it’s crazy!! She was the best model and helped me also learn manual mode.
In high school, I lived in 3 different states during my junior & senior year. With a lot of time on my hands, I began following photographers and wedding blogs online. I dreamed of the day I would attend (and photograph) a wedding of my own, and maybe even photographer *real* bridal shoes and *actual* wedding rings. When I was 17 years old, I had that opportunity. I photographed (read: assisted & had no idea what I was doing) when I was 17 years old. A wedding photographer in Texas (near where we were staying at the time) allowed me to come with her to two weddings in the fall of 2014. My parents must have really trusted me, because I found this photographer via a Facebook group… that I had just joined… where I knew no one else… and had never met this photographer before (don’t worry, it turned out to be totally legit!) My grandma actually drove me to my first ever wedding that I assisted because my parents happened to be gone that weekend and she was the only one to take me (I didn’t want to drive into the city by myself, and they didn’t want me going alone)! Haha. I am so grateful for their support though. I felt starstruck after those first couple of weddings, and everything felt like a dream. I was instantly hooked and knew I had to continue shooting them.
After those two weddings, I was driven to start my own business. Right after my dad retired and brought me and my family to Ohio, I reached out to a lot of photographers and asked them if I could even just come and carry bags (for free!) just to see how they work and how a wedding day goes. The second half of my senior year, I only had two classes, so I had so much free time. I used a little bit of my savings and began creating a website, bought a full frame camera + two new lenses, and my photography business was born!! It was a true blessing and so amazing to see how God provided for me in so many ways in getting started. My first year in Columbus, I was able to second shoot 20 weddings with many different photographers, then began booking my own wedding clients in the late summer of 2015!
Michael came into the picture during 2015. We started dating that year, and because of his interest of photography (and me ;)) he learned how to use manual mode with his camera. He photographed his first wedding with me in 2016 and blew my mind with how fast he picked it up! He now regularly shoots over half my weddings with me each season.
Over 3.5 years later, I love photographing weddings even more than when I started. I now photograph anywhere from 25-30 weddings every single year. It is absolutely amazing!! My business has grown more and more every year, it blows my mind. All credit goes to the Lord, He brings me every couple I have the opportunity to photograph and be a part of his wedding experience!! I have fallen more and more in love with this “job.” I love how it gives me the opportunity to serve others and be a part of a truly special day, and to encourage my couples about something I am passionate about: marriage. It truly brings me so much joy and I am so, SO grateful to get to do what I do!!