I have my dream job!!! I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I absolutely love everything about what I do!
I decided to write this post because I have never really told this story in full detail and shared the ups and downs of what I do and how I got here.
Growing up I didn’t really think that I wanted to be a photographer… First, of course I wanted to be a princess, then a drummer in a band, a chef, a CSI.. haha the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated photography and the joy photos bring. I have many photographers in my family and I have always been around it, but never thought I would become one… BUT boy am I glad I did! It is an incredible creative outlet for me and I love creating images for people to treasure forever.
Not only did I not think I would become a photographer, but I never thought I would be a wedding photographer…
I was 18 years old when I asked my dad if I could work for him (he owned a successful photography business) – little did I know that this would lead to my DREAM JOB!
The first wedding he brought me to I carried his camera equipment. Not super glamorous, but I was thankful for the job and had to start somewhere. After awhile he gave me a camera to shoot with – I was at the entire wedding with him anyways, why not see what I could do??? I guess at some point he liked what I was doing because he offered me the opportunity to become his second shooter!! We were a father-daughter team and for 6 years I learned everything I could from him about the camera, photography, weddings, posing, business and so much more! It was such a blast all the time and a true bonding experience! After awhile I fell in love with everything about weddings and photography- the details, the dress, the venues, flowers, the look on the grooms face when he saw his bride for the first time, the toasts (that I still tear up at), and how much fun everyone had at the receptions! Weddings are days full of so much joy, love, and laughter – it’s truly such an honor and a blessing to be apart of these couples special day!
I learned by trial and error and I am still learning to this day! It’s incredible to learn something like photography and running a business while actually doing it and watching someone else do it on a daily basis – I don’t think any kind of school could have prepared me in such a way.
A few years into working for my father he started to give me more responsibilities – I wasn’t only second shooting with him. I was also responding to emails, calling clients, corresponding with other vendors, designing albums, and any other work in the studio that he needed. I learned such an incredible amount of information about running a business. It was such a natural transition into starting my own business in 2010… It had been a thought for awhile, but I was content where I was and actually incredibly nervous about starting a business and running it on my own.
However, it turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done! Being my own boss is incredible! It does have it down sides (taxes, accounting, time management…), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I took small steps here and there while still working for my father during ’10-’11 to create my business and branch off on my own. That was such a crazy time! My first full wedding season I shot 52 weddings on my own and also second shot for my father’s company. To this day I am surprised that I wanted to continue after such an intense year!! But I am so glad that I did – it has been such an incredible experience and I am so thankful everyday to have what I do! I learned a lot that first year – for example, I don’t shoot more than 30 weddings a year. This allows me to give each couple my very best attention and care… Along with keeping my sanity!
This August I will of had my company for 4 years! I am so excited that I have been able to create, run, and sustain a business! I never dreamed I would be able to do such a thing!
I love everything about love and weddings! There is so much joy packed into this one day that it is just about exploding each time and I love capturing the moments when it does!
I have been so blessed to have worked with incredible vendors and venues over the years and created friendships that will last a lifetime! I have the best clients, EVER! They are all so genuine and kindhearted that I am often taken back by there kindness – I am so grateful to each and every one of them for trusting me to capture their wedding day!
I can say without a doubt that I am living the dream and have MY dream job!
Learning so much about photography has given me such a passion for capturing not only weddings, but also people! I have a desire to travel the world throughout my life and capture other cultures and people. A persons face can tell you so much about their life… I hope to travel often in the future and use my gift to share my experiences with the world!
I am so thankful to my father for teaching me pretty much everything I know about photography and business.. My husband for encouraging me to start my business and being by my side through it all… to God for blessing me with such an amazing life… and to everyone who supports me on a daily basis! I couldn’t do any of this alone.
Thank you to my awesome father – Dave Russell – for these shots of me! Check out his awesome humanitarian work HERE