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I never thought I'd be a professional photographer...

I never thought I'd be a professional photographer...

I am a "good girl", a rule follower. Despite my love for photography, an artistic career just wasn't for me.

The saying "starving artist" comes to mind, but I couldn't do that, I wanted a family ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿง’๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿ‘ถ. I had to have a career. Photography was just something I did to get away from the daily grind.

So I ran off to college. That's what "good girls" do. I got a couple of degrees, two in business and later one in engineering. I got a job that was stable and could easily be a career, and I excelled at it. I was recognized as a shooting star, high potential, a future leader. I tried and tried to fit into the box and on the outside I did. I was the mature adult, the responsible parent, I helped provide for my family. I was miserable.

As I climbed the ladder, I kept thinking the next job would be better, more interesting, less tedious. If I just worked harder, the next promotion would finally make me happy in my work. Then, the leadership position I sought was finally mine. Nothing changed. I got busier, sure, but I still had little to no power to positively impact those around me. It was the same grind.

One thing I never understood was a person that would sit in a job and get "stuck" and their home life would suffer (financially, mentally, emotionally). There I was though. Emotionally dead because of a job that I just couldn't love.

I reminded myself often that I was lucky to have something financially stable, lucky to excel in a large company with good benefits, but every time I went into the confessional (we're Catholic), my job for one reason or another was high on my list of things that caused me to sin. My misery turned into resentment of my job. Money alone really doesn't make you happy.

My heart longed to pursue photography, but the math of doing a $100 or even $300 session just didn't work (1,000 plus sessions a year - NO THANKS!). I thought it was hopeless.

Then I found a mentor and she changed my life. She made me believe that photography could be a real career, that immense value could be added to a session that would make it a fulfilling and memorable experience for my clients.

My clients fuel my passion now, my "why". The woman celebrating 5 years cancer free with a beauty session. The man who after a housefire took portraits with his injured dog. Teenagers who walk in shy from being bullied and walk out confident that they are beautiful. The tired moms who shed a tear after professional hair and makeup because they finally they did something for themselves, (and the husbands who slyly glance at their wives during the session). My studio is full of happy tears and laughter. It's the place where people break out of their shells or remember they've still got it.

My clients fulfill me. When I'm working there is no grind, just happiness. I'm still a good girl, a responsible adult, and through all of this, that box that I was trying to fit into just got larger.

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