As the year wraps up, I find myself with so many emotions and so much to say , but I’ll try to keep this short. Maybe.
Do you remember the moment when you knew in your heart that you had finally found your voice? That moment when you knew you were exactly where you were meant to be and your life was right on track? I had that moment this year. I have known for a long time, a little more than 20 years, that a Professional Photographer was what and who I wanted to be. I took a long time, shooting for fun, going to college, even enrolling and graduating from Cosmetology school before I finally decided that I would just go for it. For the last 7 years I have enjoyed what I do and have been satisfied with my art, but there was always that little voice inside my head that said, “Am I good enough?” And it was a question I pondered daily. It’s not that I didn’t believe in myself, I did, really. But, I found that I was constantly comparing myself to others which is such a disastrous thing as an artist. I prayed on it, often, that I would find that signature style, that “look” that was all my own. I dreamed even, that maybe at some point I would be courageous enough to jump without thinking and pursue the specialty that inspired me in the first place, Modeling/Glamour/Avant Grade/ and all things that glitter. (Side note, don’t read this and think that that is the ONLY thing I love, I love all the family sessions and weddings just as much as the next girl, but the Glamour side was something that I also secretly loved but hadn’t found the courage to really take a chance with the way I had wanted at this point!) If you’ve taken a workshop with me, you know that the first person to ever inspire me was Anna Nicole Smith. The Guess? Campaign that Anna did that parlayed to her being the world famous star she was, also parlayed the start of my intrigue with fashion photography. For a long time, I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough, special enough, or smart enough to really chase after the fashion type client. I mean, I wear jeans and V-necks EVERY.DAY. Who would trust someone like that to take their portfolio pictures? That brings me to March 2012.
I had an opportunity to work with a young lady that I had wanted to work with for over a year. When the opportunity presented itself, I was so excited, but I was SO sick, I felt like this was my chance, make it or break it time. When I stepped in front of the camera on March 21th, 2012, something sparked inside me. For the first time, I really, truly, and honestly let myself soar with this kind of photography. I shot how I wanted to shoot. I posed how I wanted to pose. It.Was.Liberating. I knew that something changed in me forever that day and I would never doubt myself again. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still have lots of growing and learning to do, but this change was more about finding and more importantly, following what was in my heart. The session that day ended at my house and afterward we ordered pizza. Later that evening, when I was all alone and looking over the day’s images, I found myself so overwhelmed with the revelation that what I had to say artistically was special, I began to cry. If you are a photographer friend reading this, read that last sentence 5 times, it’s the most important thing I can ever tell you, your artistic vision, when it comes from your heart, is so special, it’s a gift that is unique inside you, and we all need to remember that in those moments of doubt and frustration.
I will forever carry certain days and moments in my heart; the day I gave my life to Christ, the day I met and then married my husband, the days my children were born, and March 21, 2012, the day I realized that I was “good enough.” When we are true to ourselves, the possibilities are endless. This brings me to a very special announcement, which is my first ever Session of the Year award.
Congratulations to Sydney Bramlett, you inspired me and helped me to find my voice, pretty big stuff for a girl who was just 11. I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings us ❤