I was realizing today that I haven't told to story of how I got into photography. I don't have the typical story of "I've had a camera attached to my face since I was 4," but rather one of blessed direction from the Lord. When I started college I wanted to be a 3rd grade teacher. I had worked with kids for 3 years at a community center and loved working with them. I felt like I had a natural talent for teaching and have many times been told that. So, my first semester I took an education class. Halfway through the class I realized all that comes with teaching: the politics, the parents who expect you to disciple their children, and the drama. It was then that I realized I could never have energy or patience for my own children if I was baby sitting other's every day.
I switched schools my second semester and decided I wanted to study graphic design. I enrolled in an art school and ended up taking one graphic design class while I took general eds at a community college. At the time I was working at a reprographics print shop, which is basically a place for large prints like blue prints and such. One of my co-workers said that the community college offered the graphic design degree at half the cost of the art school I was attending. My parents offered to pay for school, which is an amazing blessing, but I couldn't justify them spending so much money on a degree I could accomplish at a 1/4 of the price.
Again, I switched gears and took classes towards Business Graphics. I really enjoyed the classes a lot, but felt like my work was a bit cheesy and lame. You know like graphics from the 90's done in Word?
Within the degree I was required to take art classes. One of my art teachers saw my photography in a project where we could use any media. My art teacher was amazed with my photography. At the time it was photos from a mission trip to New Zealand and from the first college I attended. All of these photos were taken with my point'n'shoot. She kept encouraging me to study photography instead, but I was two semsters from finishing my business graphics degree.
During the same exact month I applied for an internship at an advertising company. I had only taken a handful of graphic design classes so my portfolio was limited so I included my photography in my presentation. The owners of the company were amazed. Oh, now of course not with my graphic design but with my photography. They both kept joking with me asking why I was studying graphic design. At the time, I had a dream of working for a church doing their graphics, so I told them this.
After the interview I didn't hear anything, so I felt a little discouraged. That next month my family and I went on a trip to Colorado. The whole drive up I just kept praying to the Lord "Lord use me in anyway you please. My life is yours, I'll do anything you wish me to do." For the first time in my life I truly surrendered my life to God, letting him "take the wheel" in a way. I was tired of trying to figure out what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to be. It was the best place I've ever been in my life, so freeing.
A few weeks after that trip I was at the library, on the westside (which really isn't that great of a library because it has such limited selections) and I accidentally came upon this book: "How to Start your Photography Business." My first reaction was: really? There is this book in the this library? I of course checked the book out.
Between the encouragement from my teacher, two complete strangers in the art field who know good stuff when they see it, my prayers to the Lord, and this book, I felt a very strong calling from God to pursue photography. So I began researching and following the instructions of the book.
I contacted other photographers and asked for advice. That summer I also came across another photographer who was so sweet to sit down with me to show me some of the ropes. She also let me shoot my first wedding as her second shooter. At that wedding I feel in love with photographing weddings. I knew that is what I wanted to do.
That same summer I did end up getting the internship I interviewed for back in the winter. It was then that I realized I was not cut for graphic design in advertising. But the idea of designing products with my photography was just wonderful! So, I finished my degree while I started Searching for the Light Photography.
So here I am 2 and half years later in the thick of it, but really only at the beginning.
I cannot wait to see what the Lord has next. I hope you can be apart of this amazing journey.