It was a build up of many things. While on maternity leave I designed a MASSIVE canvas of our wedding photos. It was a faded/blended collage design. I enjoyed learning Photoshop and my husband helped me with the basics. He uses Photoshop for his job as a network administrator. At the time, I was proud of my creation. I’m not a fan of it now…. It’s daggy.
At first, I wanted to offer editing services to photographers as I enjoyed being creative using Photoshop. The thought of becoming an actual photographer didn’t interest me… going out and interacting with clients, taking their pictures….the very thought of it made me feel queasy. What if they hated their photos or I didn’t capture what they wanted? Everyone looking to me and relying on me for direction. I had to KNOW what the hell I was doing. I had to put myself out there. Nope this wasn’t for me.
The Attraction Starts
While I was pregnant with my first child, I had professional maternity photos taken after I seen maternity photos of a friend. The images intrigued me. I loved the lighting and techniques used. This is where my fascination with photography began.
It wasn’t until after the birth of my daughter Bonnie that I knew I wanted to be a photographer. I was willing to overcome my fears as the desire to do photography was greater. I studied images I admired; the lighting, angles used and I tried to replicate them. My daughter was the model – all while capturing her milestones from newborn to toddler to little girl. A parent loves looking back at the transformation their child takes, especially in the first 12 months. They grow like mutants!
A New Creative Outlet
I was about to start maternity leave and become a parent for the first time. Leaving my full-time job,10 years of working and having no idea of the challenges parenting brings, I was scared of the unknown. I was leaving only what I knew. I always had a creative outlet as a child whether it be drawing, coloring, painting. I loved art. Since leaving school, I was yet to find one. I nearly purchased an easel and paints. I wanted to paint again using inspiration I found with online tutorials. Then… It didn’t happen. I became a mum and my creative outlet soon transformed into photography.
I was a first time mum, returning to work part-time and trying to change my photography hobby into something serious – a business. I felt like I never had spare time to practice or study to reach my goal.
The massive amount of hours put into learning, teaching myself and practicing – it almost consumed me. I lost sight of the most important things in life, which were right in front of me. My beautiful family.
I felt like I owed it to them, maybe it wasn’t worth pursuing because a crazy strong passion can get in the way of the most important things in life. Family is everything and they were often coming second best.
Throughout my photography journey, I have learned I cannot be all things to everyone. I decided to specialize in family and newborns. That’s what I’m most passionate about. This allowed me to hone in on my skills. I block out my diary for family time and the kids are no longer missing out on their mum. I’m a better mum and wife because of this.
I’m finally in a happy place with my business and putting my family first is a big part of this. If you are starting out in photography, please don’t lose yourself or let it consume you. No job is worth it!