This morning, my Facebook pulled up a memory from two years ago of Nora's one year cake smash photos that I took. I had a friend who had offered to take them, but she had gotten hurt last minute. With the cake already made, and my old DSLR camera in hand, I decided to take them myself. I used a cedar chest and set her up next to my bedroom window. I knew nothing of how to properly light a subject, and didn't really know how to shoot in manual except the quick lesson my friend had given me over the phone just a few minutes before we started. I had just started teaching myself how to use photoshop at this point also. I had almost NO idea what I was doing. I was nervous for sure, but didn't have anything to loose except for a pretty cake. These photos are STILL some of my favorites.
Two years later, I look back at these photos and see them as a start of something amazing. My beautiful journey into photography. In the beginning, I never imagined I would own a photography business. My original goal was just to be able to take great photos of my children. I remember telling everyone that this was just for fun, and that nothing would come out of it. Well then I realized that I also loved photographing my friends, and their kids.
I fell in love fast, and I fell in love hard. I would spend my nights sitting in Emersyn's room while she fell asleep with my laptop, editing. I probably spent most of my first 6 months doing things this way. I was photographing everyone I could get my hands on. It took me some time, but I finally decided that I was going to set goals for myself. One of those goals was birth photography. The other was newborns.
What I remember most about the early days of my business was all the feelings of insecurity. Those thoughts that say, "I'm not good enough" or "why would people want silly ole me". I also remember how much I was taking in and learning. The biggest thing that helped me get better, and learn was other photographers. Some local, but most of them were online in Facebook groups. I posted so many images for critique, I can't even remember all of them. I wanted to be good, to do better. And so I put myself out there and prepared myself for others to say I was bad. And they did. They broke down my photos (in a nice way of course), and something amazing happened. I didn't shrink and discount myself, instead I grew. And I kept growing and learning with each new photograph I took. And I'm still growing and learning every day. My biggest advice for new photographers is to seek out your peers and learn from them. They (we) have so much to offer. Photography isn't always seen as a welcoming field to newbies. But that is changing. There are a lot of us out there that want to help. We want to better our field, and that starts by teaching those who are just entering in. I wouldn't be anywhere without help from others, and I'm so thankful for that.
To date, I have photographed 9 births and over 50 newborns and countless families and kids. And I'm only two years in. I can't wait to see what the future holds for me. I feel like I always say this, but thank you. Thank you to each person who has chosen me to photograph their kiddo or their family. Thank you to those who diligently follow my work. Thank you to those who read my blog. And thank you to my husband, kids, and family. I would literally be nowhere without all of you.