First off, thank you!
Thank you for taking a moment to read about the origins and story of my portrait photography business. Doing portrait photography in Colorado has been one of the highlights of my life. I can’t wait to share with you WHY this journey has meant so much to me and why my photography business has developed into what it is today.
Getting to know me –
Those who know me well have lovingly labeled me as an ARROW. I even felt compelled to get a tattoo of an arrow to solidify this piece of my identity. I try new things all the time, and when I decide something is worth pursuing, I’m 100% in. I love learning new things. Because of that, I’ve had the joy of learning how to do all kinds of things from bow and arrow, to motorcycle racing, to learning 5 different instruments (to name just a few)! About 11 years ago, a friend of mine suggested casually that I should make birth announcements and sell them! I knew NOTHING about Photoshop, but we did have it on my husband’s computer. He taught me what little he knew, and I took off from there. I learned everything I could find about Photoshop, took classes, bought seminars, tutorials.. until I was able to finally open a Photo Card website, http://cardchef.com. This business surprised us all and took off. After a couple of years, I decided to afford myself a nicer camera to take pictures of my family with.
The start of a new skill –
A new camera, paired with developed Photoshop skills, created a new pursuit for me – photography. I was pretty good at it from the start (having grown up wanting to be an artist and loving composition and art), but now had a new thing to run to and learn everything I could about. I snagged everyone who would pose for me and practiced like crazy for about 2 years, until finally I decided I could possibly turn this into a little business. I never intended for this business to become what it is today – after all, I move on to the next thing there is to learn after 3-4 years normally. I thought it could just be a fun way to fill in the gaps and add a tiny bit of income, in addition to the piano lessons I was teaching. My photo card business started to die down after a few years until it finally pretty much failed after 5 years (the problem of SEO got the best of me). But instead of going to something new, I realized that the passion for photography was growing inside of me. I quit teaching piano, quit trying to revive Card Chef, and poured myself into photography (100%, remember?!).
I was photographing everyone from babies to weddings, boudoir, families.. until I realized after a few years that I really connected with the idea of one-on-one portraits. I realized that when I have one person (over the age of 10 generally) in front of my camera, ‘working’ was actually life-giving! I left feeling like I had just been filled after every photography session.
My heart –
I’ve always loved to see people. I want to know the story of everyone I meet. And I found, after choosing this path, that I also want to communicate to people what I see in them. Everything that is good about them that maybe they can’t see for themselves. When I had studied enough about photography (how to set-up, lighting, backdrop, expression, posing, excellent re-touching) to be able to communicate what I saw through pictures, I knew I had found a pursuit that was not going to fade away like so many of my other pursuits. Photography was here to stay. This career speaks and honors who I am, fulfills me in ways I never could have dreamed of, and provides CONSTANT learning for me. And I love learning.
Because I am constantly learning about photography, my work has the ability to adapt to any situation. Many have actually criticized my work because it varies too much. Most believe that you need to choose one style and stick with it to be successful and sought-out. But when the goal is to communicate what I see in someone, then how could every portrait look the same? We are all different! And every client has different needs for their business, brand, and personality. So I decided to reject the criticism and pursue my heart’s desire to tailor each photo shoot.
Over the past few years of intentionally seeing people through my lens, I’ve also realized how important relationships are. We are all here on Earth at the same time for a reason, and I believe we are meant to do life together. I love to help people however I can, love to blog about all the business owners I photograph and talk them up. I even just love to have coffee, hear someone’s story, and figure out ways we can help each other succeed.
Would it be ok if I shared a few photos of my family with you? They are ever supportive (my husband hand-built a large part of my brand new dedicated studio), and also they are so cute. I am honored to be a part of this family!
Thank you again for taking a moment to meet me! I sure hope we get to meet in person soon – I would love the opportunity to show you how I see you.