Your Q & A {my start in photography}

I’ve started a bi-weekly post dedicated to answering all of your questions! Today’s question  is: Why did you start doing photography?

{Meet the Murphy Family. One of my favorite Celebrating Adoption families to date, and one that totally “gets” lifestyle photography. There is never a dull moment with them, and I ADORE them for it!}

Today’s question came from a dear friend and client of mine, Lauren. My journey to being a photographer started a long time ago. If you know me well, you know I have no musical talent. No artistic (drawing, painting, etc) talent. I love colors, I love design, but when I was a pre-teen and teenager I would have told you I had NO artistic talent. Around 15 or so I started taking pictures, usually on trips or during family gatherings, and my Grandma got me into scrapbooking. At my high school you have to take 2 fine art credits, so my senior year of high school I saved all summer, bought a SLR film camera, and accidentally fell into the world of photography. We would have assignments and I found myself really drawn to photographing people, as opposed to things. I immediately moved photographing baseball (both of my brothers played), little kids, pretty much anyone who would hold still long enough for me to take their picture. After only a few months I was hooked on photography, and my second semester senior year I actually took two periods of photography. In the darkroom, I would put on some music, and just let go, tweaking each picture until I loved them (although I am a digital photog convert, the darkroom is still a place that holds my heart.)

Fast forward a bit, I was doing a few weddings or senior portraits here and there, but was focused on other things in life like college, working as a nanny, etc. During my junior year of college I moved to Seattle, and that summer Kris and I were married. At this point I was pursuing a degree in Children, Youth and Family Ministries, and I felt like all of the time I spent serving at church was because it was assigned in a class, not necessarily because I wanted to be there. I have a heart of service, and really needed that outlet of giving back to others. I found Celebrating Adoption on a photography forum I belonged to, and started doing free sessions for families who had recently adopted. I had always held to the notion that I didn’t ever want photography to become work, but the more I did these sessions, and the more the families asked me to come back and photograph them again, or their children’s birthdays, the more I felt like I could handle the business side and still focus on the photography, the part I love. Fast forward 4 and a half years, and here I am.

As for why I am drawn to photographing people, particularly families, I think it stems from having such a great family myself, and wanting to help others capture those important relationships and memories. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, and as much as we think in the moment we will remember things, life is full. It’s busy. I feel like what I do is create a little time capsule for each family, each senior, each newborn that they can look back upon in a few weeks or many years, and remember how things were. I also think that it is important, especially as women, that we get the chance to see ourselves as others see us. We spend so much time caring for those around us, and often not giving ourselves the credit we are due. There is profound power and grace is seeing yourself captured in this wonderful moment giggling with your child, or surrounded by those you love, and who love you back. I don’t believe that photography is just for those who have it all together, and for when things are perfect. Personally, I think that photography should capture the everyday, the routine and the special. It’s why I love the tagline real. life. captivating. I want my photography to be real, and I want it to show life how it is today, and I want the end result to be captivating. But I also believe that real life is captivating, and so often we overlook the simple joys in our hurry.

{And because I do practice what I preach, a lovey shot from my own family session this past fall, done by the always sweet and funny Mary Collier}

Do you have a question about what kinds of sessions I offer, what to wear for sessions or about the products I carry? Visit the Facebook page and leave your question! If it gets chosen for a blog feature, you will win a free print from your next session!

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