I have been asked a lot recently why I am a photographer? What made me get into this business. Can I be honest for a second…. Photography is an awful business to get into. One quick google search can tell you that. Photographers are a dime a dozen. Even the iPhone has a portrait mode now. What does anyone need me for? *Shakes head* But seriously, no one goes into photography thinking this will be a profitable industry right now. Then again, I don’t feel like anyone would go into any creative business because of the profits; however, any business has to be profitable to be prosper.
So why did I choose this industry? First let me start off by saying this – I don’t think I necessarily chose photography, but rather, photography chose me. Let me give you a little background about myself. I have always loved to create. Creativity is ingrained deep in my soul. In high school at the age of 16 I worked at a small high end home decor boutique in a fancy shopping center. I loved creating beautiful stories with gorgeous merchandise in the store and clients homes. By the time I was 17 I was the buyer taking off school to go to trade shows and expos. I loved every moment of it. By 18, I became a partner in one of the three locations. Unfortunately, this was right before the recession hit. I foresaw that things were changing and sold my shares in the business. I went to work in my families recession proof medical supply & sales business (hey family if you’re reading this! I love you and am very thankful for the opportunity, but this was the worst and most boring job I have ever had.) Fast forward to a few years later – an amazing person took a chance on me after I had been out of the retail business for a long time (unless you count selling walkers) I got a job doing what I loved again. I got a job as a manager at Puma. I don’t think she has any idea how much she has inspired me (if you are reading this Mandy – you rock!). *Side note* I can not say enough amazing things about Puma as a company, what they stand for, and how they treat their employees. Go buy their shoes and apply for a job there! At puma I got back to my creative side doing visual merchandising while I was a manager. Unfortunately, while pregnant with Ella hyperemesis gravidarum got the best of me and I was forced to leave.
For the last three years I have not used one creative bone in my body. Unless you count figuring out how you can sneak out of a toddlers room undetected during bed time, or how to get crayon off of a flat screen television. After a couple of years of being knee deep in baby paraphernalia and spit up. I decided I needed something for myself. I wish I could say I had a epiphany. That isn’t the case though; it was more of a slow progression of realizing that I love my children more then anything, but I no longer participated in a single activity I enjoyed. Since becoming a mom, I always took a lot of pictures of my kids. I enjoyed capturing the milestones of their lives. The fleeting moments that passed so quickly. I decided to do something for myself that I enjoyed. How selfish of me. I decided to buy a camera and take a photography class. I soaked up a wealth of knowledge in my first photography class and decided this was something I needed more of. I saw bits and pieces of my identity as a person not just as a mom come flooding back. One photography class turned into two and three and four turned into workshops and photoshop classes and photo walks and mentors. Somewhere along the road, I decided I wanted to give this thing a go. It was one of the most nerve-wracking decisions I have made. But what if I fail? What if no one wants me to take photos of them? What if all I get is crickets? Fear is not my story. Working my rear-end off and giving this thing my all is.
Back to the why? Why did I choose to enter a industry that is supposedly oversaturated, where some say the failure rate is a whopping 95%!!! My why is because I believe in myself to overcome the odds of failure rate, and I refuse to allow numbers to become my demise. I believe that if you do something you are so passionate about that you love, and you work your rear-end off you will rock it. My pictures tell the stories of my clients, but they also tell my story as an artist. Photography is so much more then a job to me. Photography is my creative expression. Photography is my art. So even with smart phones and new technology, where everyone is a photographer, I still believe that I can beat the statistic. I believe in myself, and my passion for beautiful, creative, unique images. No smart phone can touch that!