I started working as a teaching assistant because it fit around my school schedule and ended up loving it. I worked with first grade and those kids were AMAZING. I thought I can do theist. I'm really good at talking to people. I've always been a good listener. I have great empathy for others. I also can handle basic math! Bonus! I did actually finish my bachelors degree (my masters also, amazingly enough) and I taught for five years. I loved every.single.student. I've had. Even the ones that made me roll my eyes at their dramatics and think, "I hope my child never acts like that."
A couple of huge things happened in those five years that made me walk away from teaching without any hesitation. Being an actual teacher I was able to get a closer look at the politics of education. Educational politics suck. There is no way around it. For the most part, education (in my opinion) is not about educating. The biggest reason why I was able to freely walk away was my kiddos. I had 2 little ones within a year and a day of each other. My priorities changed significantly after I had my own kids. I wanted to be home with them. I was freaked out by someone I didn't know watching them. Even now, three years later - I have 2 people that I will leave them with without having any worries. I have a couple of other people that I will leave them with but call to check-in periodically. I know, I'm crazy. I accept this kind of crazy and to me, it's normal. Will I ever go back to teaching? I'm not sure. Would I love to use my masters degree and work with kids and adults that have special needs in some way? YES! Does it fit in my life right now? No.
All this talk gets us to where I'm currently at on my 33rd birthday. Yes, it's today and 33 feels no different then 32. I actually thought I was already 33 until Nunna corrected me last week!
I have ALWAYS loved photos. Who doesn't?! Photos can instantly transport you to another time in your life. They capture children's first moments, birthdays, holidays, bad hairdos and style. They are looked at in time of remembrance when a loved one is lost, to remind you of all the amazing times that were had. Photos are unique in the fact that it captures a time that we will never get back. I love photos so much the photographer (the amazing Mishelle Lamarand) for our wedding was the biggest thing of our wedding budget. Guess what? She was worth.every.penny. We have some beautiful photos. I look stunning, the Hubs looks hot and we are just normal people. She was able to pull out some amazing qualities that I didn't even know we had!
So, when one of the photographers that she hired out to help her photograph our wedding offered to sell us her camera I just right on that! I was hugely pregnant with Lilli and and what a great time to get an expensive camera to capture this little kids life. I still have that camera. I love that camera. (It's a Canon Rebel XT) Then we added kids and dogs to our family and we had over a year that I could not afford to go and get professional pictures done of my family. I was seriously depressed for a week as their 2nd and 3rd birthday passed without getting photos done. The next month, I started practicing more with my camera. I even got a 50 mm lens for Christmas! That was life changing. I've worked with my camera and new lens for 9 months now. I've also worked quite a bit with different editing programs. In December my photos looked like this:
I used some editing tools in iPhoto and LOVED the results. To me at this point, these were as professional as going to JCPenny. I'm being serious.
This is an example after I got my new lens:
This was taken in July of this year. Yes, a couple of months ago.
This is an example of something from last weekend with my new camera:
I've come so far in the last 9 months and it's incredible what you can do with Lightroom!
So, when I read an article on how 'everyone' is trying to become a photographer, I got my feathers ruffled. Even the great photographers out there had to start somewhere. I've looked at others work and some people who have been doing photography on the side haven't improved. But, most have. You can see how their style and photos have evolved. Hell, I've evolved in the last 9 months. Can you imagine what my product will look like in a year from now?
We are setting up an in-house studio in the next couple of months and I am excited to learn about studio lighting and buying backdrops. Of course I'm excited about props! I LOVE props! Wish us luck in the construction of it -I'm sure we will be fighting about something during the entire time.
So, as of right now - I've taken a hobby of mine and turned it into something that I see me doing part-time for the rest of my life. I only work a couple of days a month. I'm able to leave my kids with people that I have known my entire life or with my husband. Will I ever do weddings? Not right now. I'm not ready for that. I don't even try to kid myself about that. I need time to learn my camera and perfect this craft. Is my work good enough to charge people an honest fee to take their family portraits? Yes. Do I charge an arm and leg? No. Will I ever? No. I know the feeling of wanting professional pictures of my kids and not being able to afford it. Will I give more images then other photographers. Yes, I can't stomach the thought of a picture of my own child just sitting on someone's hard drive. Will my work be crappy? No. It's no where near the skill set that others who have been doing this for years but my skills are better then using a point and shoot.
I'm not doing this to get rich. I'm doing this because I love photography and I love people.
Off my soap box..on to birthday cinnamon rolls and syncing my fitbit…yeah - those 2 don't usually go together but it's my birthday.