I have very vivid memories of myself as a young girl sitting on both my grandparents living room floor and in my own parents home where I grew up, flipping page by page through photo albums ranging through the decades. Some sepia, some black & white, and eventually some color. Photos of people that I knew, and some that I didn’t covered the pages, and with each photo that I looked at my curiosity deepened. What were they doing that day? How were they feeling? What was their story? Some stories I knew, but the ones I didn’t I would ask about. I was always so excited and grateful that my family kept all of those photos, because they hold so many tangible memories that people felt important enough to document.

When I was an early teen my girlfriends and I would buy disposable cameras, take countless photos, drop them off at Long’s Drugstore, and return 48 hours later for what would usually be the same poses over and over again doing God knows what. We would then frame or plaster the images in our bedrooms, and stash the ones we didn’t like in a shoe box. And the cycle continued for years until I finally received a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas one year.

In my early 20s I fell back in love with taking photos, but this time they were “artsy" photos of things like graffiti and my friends dancing. I recognized this was a good creative outlet for me, so I took some classes in college, got into film and developing in a dark room, and eventually back to digital. A few years later, I had my first art show with a friend, sold some pieces over the years, and did odd jobs for fun. Interests changed, jobs came and went, but I never stopped loving photography.

When our beloved pup Charlie passed away in April of 2018, I almost immediately dusted off my camera and started taking photos of anything and everything as a way to bring myself some joy in a time of my life that felt drenched in grief. I remembered how much fun it was, and much fun I was when I had a camera in my hands.

Fast forward to today—the past few months have been a whirlwind of creativity and exploration, mixed with a splash of anxiety and a heaping spoonful of letting go of what I thought I knew in order for something greater to come through me. I realized that photography didn’t have to be a hobby, and I could actually incorporate it as part of my business. As soon as I allowed myself to say yes to that joy, I’ve been busier than ever taking photos (YAY!), I’ve had lots of opportunities for experience and practice (YAY!), and have learned from a ton of mistakes (YAY?).

I don’t know if this is what I am going to do forever (do any of us really know?), but I do know that it’s what I am enjoying doing for now. Stay tuned, because I have a very exciting announcement on Monday!