How I Became a Wedding Photographer
Growing up, I was that neighborhood kid who was always dragging others into my newest idea and raising "capital" from our poor parents. I had a dance studio, back deck coffee shop (very originally named Starducks), and in high school a baking and photography business. And I actually photographed my first wedding when I was a junior in high school!
My dad told me when I was applying for college that I could be whatever I wanted and even use my college savings as seed money to further grow my businesses. At 17, that idea terrified me. So, I decided to get a degree in a field where I knew I could get a job - enter engineering.
In college, I wasn't planning on meeting and marrying my best friend. I had a 5-year plan for myself and it definitely didn't include getting married. But when I met Greg, I never doubted giving up my plan. I just never expected how much different my life would look.
All through college, I kept photographing weddings, couples, and loved all the experiences. When graduation came around, and my husband was at seminary, I decided to take an engineering job to give the corporate world my best shot, and thought I would just stick with photographing weddings on the side.
I learned so much working as an engineer. When I hired in, I was the only female in the entire department. So, I had to figure out how to speak my mind, do the work, and be humble. But a little over a year in, I had this nagging that just wouldn't leave that it was time to move on from the 8-5. My husband got a new, more demanding job, and I was still working, traveling, and filling up my calendar with weddings.
Every night for weeks, I cried wondering what I supposed to do. I would ask Greg what he thought I should do, but he told me that he was confident I would make the right decision and that it was my decision to make. The feeling never went away and I knew in my heart it was time to step away from engineering to be more flexible and present for my sanity and the sake of our marriage.
On my last day, I was one of the last people to leave the office, but I remember the president of the company staying late to shake my hand as I left with my office boxed up under my arm. And it was as if in that moment, everything was confirmed and I felt a new sense of confidence that I was leaving to go where I was always meant to be.
So, when I began running my business full-time almost 1.5 years ago, that was a dream that had been 7 years in the making. This opportunity to do what I love, I don't take lightly. It's a dream that I love chasing and work I'm happy to hustle for.