So I'm at my dad's apartment in 1989 and I'm obsessed with roller skating and New Kids on the Block. I spend my days circling the tennis courts on 8 wheels, dancing to my favorites (always sung by Joey). During this time, by dad started a new hobby, photography.
He started collecting cameras - old, nasty, vintage cameras that no longer worked. (They are all in my attic now and I cherish each and every crappy one.) He also put together a dark room in his bathroom and we were hooked. He lent me his equipment and I wandered the complex, unsupervised (as we did in the 80s) while taking pictures of every. single. cat. in the neighborhood.
Soon I was posing and photographing my friends and family every chance I got. I was relentless, but my subjects were very willing participants (at least that's what I told myself). In high school I took photography as an elective, and although I was already a pro, I learned even more about the science of light chasing. In college I first majored in graphics design and fully immersed myself in the concepts of design and composition.
After college I started a family and largely fell out of photography for several years. One Black Friday I convinced my husband to purchase a fancier camera with interchangeable lenses, which was a pretty big expense for our modest means. Neither of us could have predicted what would become of my old hobby, but I'd venture to say it was the best purchase we've ever made.
Less than a year after buying that camera I started shooting weddings. I'd say I jumped in head first. Wedding photography is sum of every kind of photography there is. It's product photography, sports photography, portrait photography, real estate photography - every kind of Bubba Gump photography wrapped up in one day, and you can't miss a thing. I thrived in wedding photography, and I'm incredibly grateful for everything I learned in the 5 years that I focused on it.
But somewhere in the throws of being a wedding photographer, I moved next door to a real estate agent. We became friends and I started doing some of her listing photos. I moved forward in real estate slowly, but the more I did them, the more right it felt. It was as though I was a combination lock, and it had taken me three turns to click into place. I decided to go all in.
Ansel Adams says, "the most important part of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." My best friend says, "find your passion and the money will come." These two sentiments sum up how I want to live everyday. Immersed in my passion, consistently growing and learning, and providing for my family and our future.