I’ve always felt incredibly blessed, and shocked!, by my sweet little Lillybelle Rose, but as I approach year 3, having been published, started a new genre (Boudoir!), and even traveled for work, I am feeling overwhelmingly thankful (Is that a word???). After two clients and an aspiring photographer asked how this all began within days of one another, I figured it was time for a post about just that. How it all began…
I’ve NEVER liked being photographed, but especially after hair loss and a 20lb weight gain due to Hashimoto’s disease, I found my comfort zone behind our little camera as our children grew. Then I had a health scare and knew I needed to be in some pictures with our girls.
One week later, we received an email from a cousin with her grandson’s portraits, taken by a wonderful photographer named Amy. We hired Amy in the spring of 2008, and when I went to Amy’s home to pick up a large print I stayed for THREE HOURS. Yep. Three. We became good friends <3
Rob, my sweet hubby, collaborated with Amy and bought me a DSLR in Dec of ’08 so I could get better shots of our 3 little ladies. Soon, Rob (My ultimate cheerleader) saw something in my photographs and upgraded our camera (after only 6 months!). This seemed pretty crazy to me, so I let him handle the transactions. We would sell my first DSLR on Ebay once we received the new camera he bought online.
On August 19th, Miss S., our young neighbor, told the mom she was sitting for to call me because even though I didn’t have a business, I could probably take her two girls’ pictures. You see, this mom had Shannon stay with her and her girls even though she was off work that day. She wanted Shannon to help out while getting the girls’ pictures taken. They went to THREE PLACES and they were all busy or “less than OK” (Three! A fluke? I don’t think so!) The mom called and I told her to wait one more week so I could use my new camera. She told me what I had would be good enough and planned to come to our house in less than two hours. I wasn’t sure what to make of it all, but it happened so quickly I just went for it!
And then, five minutes after I hung up with this “client”, UPS delivered my new camera A WEEK EARLY. (How does that happen???) I ran to a local camera shop to get an insurance policy (You know me and technology) and the angel behind the counter helped me set up the new menu and pointed out that one normally wouldn’t shoot outdoors at 2pm in August (Man Oh Man do I know that now!), but God had provided me with the perfect overcast day – God’s softbox in the sky. (Another fluke???)
Miss D. and Miss S. showed up and took about one minute to warm up into the most photogenic, patient, beautiful subjects a photographer could ask for. I think God knew I’d never have the courage to go after this if he sent a two year old boy. ;D
Here’s the part where you need a tissue: The day after my first paid session, I sat down to get the insurance policy info updated online. I grabbed the invoice and started typing the purchase date. Rob had ordered the camera, so I paid no attention to the details prior to this point. The date on the invoice sealed the deal for me… it was my mom’s birthdate. My mom and I were incredibly close. The “talk three times a day” kind of close. She passed away two days after I found out I was pregnant with our first daughter. I loved her more than anything, and she always told me, “You need to do something creative with your life.” I had no idea what that could possibly be. She figured it out for me. And she was right.
And then there is my dad, who was a technically good photographer with a darkroom in the basement and all. We avoided him and all he was involved with, so my only memory of him and photography was photographs of my twin and me crying. And then, while shooting at a cousin’s home, my cousin said the sound of the shutter reminded her of my dad. I’m sure he has a hand in all of this. Maybe this is a bit of an apology for all of the suffering? I thank him.
My girls, who after having me at their beck and call for 13 years are sharing me with all of you, graciously. They encourage me to grow and enjoy seeing my work. It’s the sweetest thing ever!
One thing I know for sure (As Oprah always said), none of this was planned, all of this is a gift, and I am forever grateful.
And a picture, because we can’t have a post without one, and because I had a blast with this beauty today at the studio. More to come soon!