I never realized how much photography was always a part of my life.
Art & photography have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. Birthdays & Christmases I would ask for art supplies and then one year, I received a little Kodak Point & Shoot camera that came with a fun perspectives book to get your creativity sparked. I remember having so much fun with that camera and then when I was about 14 years old, I was gifted another little camera. I would take my film in to be processed immediately. I'm sure my Dad spent a lot of money on film & development in those days. You know, I never quite realized how much photography was always a part of my life until I started to reflect on my "why".
My love for art grew with me.
Around 13 years old, my dad took my older brother & I to Paris. I remember Versailles and Notre Dame more than anything. They were so beautiful. That same summer, if my memory holds true – though it rarely does – I also participated in an art course – which was mainly full of adults learning drawing techniques. I think my mom or dad may still have some of those still life drawings somewhere.
Then, high school came and I took art & photography & drama classes as my electives throughout. I even acted in a few plays and my first job was taking the newborn photographs at the local hospital here in town on the weekends.
The Reality of Growing Up Hit Me
I think the reality of growing up hit me. Even though I loved art and photography, I was also doing well in my AP economics, math and biology classes. When I went to college at Fresno Pacific University, I ended up double majoring ....in Accounting and Business! I eventually became a Certified Public Accountant and worked as an auditor for 7 years – all the while my art supplies collected dust. I was content during this time, but always felt like something was missing. I was pursuing something I was good at, but had no vision or purpose for my life or my family.
I used hotel points to purchase my first DSLR
During those years, I would travel from Stockton to Bakersfield for work – often staying overnight for weeks at a time. This allowed me to earn enough hotel points to purchase my first DSLR camera and I really haven’t put it down much since. It wasn’t until my oldest son was born, though, that I really started to pursue learning the craft of portrait photography and a fire ignited.
I started photography more as a hobby to bring in some extra spending money for myself. Then, after I had my third child, it didn’t make sense for me to return to work and pay for childcare, so I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom, but also with the intention of launching my photography business into something more substantial. That was in 2014.
“Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again. This time more intelligently.”
Sometimes we have to fail
In 2015 – 2017 I had a studio space, thinking that was my dream. But the way I had modeled the business by comparing myself & my business to others, meant I barely scraped by and was pretty much paying my clients to let me take their photographs. I didn’t have a vision. I didn’t know what I truly wanted for myself, my family, or my business. I ended up closing my studio because it felt like too much with 4 young children. I justified that it wasn’t the right time at that point in life – and that isn’t entirely incorrect. Yet, I felt like a failure.
I continued to do photography, but it was again more of a hobby. Clients here & there and just barely making enough to cover my expenses. In 2020, after you know what happened, I pretty much threw in the towel – even to the point of selling a huge collection of maternity gowns from my client closet.
I put my camera down for months. I tried to convince myself that I was happy. That life was peachy as being a stay-at-home mom, but if I was truly honest with myself – I was not truly happy. Yes, still blessed, but I felt unfulfilled.
Then, last year, I was led to a life-coach, Brad Bizjack, and I jumped in feet first. About three weeks in, he asked the group – what do you want? Simple question – right? Well, I didn’t think so. I told myself I didn’t know. He called me out and I had a breakthrough. I wasn’t happy because I didn’t have a vision for my life. I didn’t know what I wanted. That day sparked a new journey – in both my family life and my business. Now I have vision. I can see clearer now what I want & how I want to serve.
“I create beautiful portrait art for clients to preserve their most precious memories for their lifetime & the generation to come. I desire for my clients to have beautiful artwork of the most beautiful thing they have – their families – to walk by and enjoy every day.”
A New Vision
Today, my vision is to live in each moment with intention – I’m definitely still working on that! I also envision a life where I’m creating beautiful portrait art for clients to preserve their most precious memories for their lifetime & the generation to come. I desire for my clients to have beautiful artwork of the most beautiful thing they have – their families – to walk by and enjoy every day. I want their children to see their portraits on the walls of their home and see them as a reminder of how much their parents love them. Preserving memories, capturing love in a moment and showing how beautiful each person that is in front of my camera is, is my purpose. What’s yours?