My First Ever Photoshoot in 2011

My first ever photoshoot went like this: I showed up, nervous out of my mind. Tried to act cool, but I was shaking underneath. Sweaty palms, Nikon D60 around my neck (I’m a Canon girl now) and mind racing. I had scoured Google before the session, searching “family portrait ideas” because Pinterest didn’t exist yet. I arrived, last minute props were set out in their big yard and the session began.

I had started as a freshman at Samford University a month before, and was excited for life in general. I was making new friends, enjoying my classes and trying to figure out what a career might look like one day. I walked into college enjoying photography, writing and graphic design, but didn’t know which one to pursue (and whaddayaknow, I’m now doing all three!). As I got involved photographing for the yearbook, newspaper and eventually for the campus photographer, I pursued it hard. I would take my camera everywhere and tried to capture every moment I could.

We tried a variety of poses…

And I’ve since learned my lesson 😉 I’m not sure what possessed me to say, “put a piece of straw in your mouth and pretend like you’re a farmer,” but that’s what I did and the Dukes family embraced it! (I’m suppressing my laughter because I’m in Starbucks) With giggly girls and up-for-anything mindsets, the Dukes family made my first experience memorable and enjoyable, and I walked away feeling completely giddy (regardless of how the pictures turned out). I pressed the shutter 500 times in that hour, and went home to edit every.single.image!

That photoshoot was the catalyst. It was the beginning. I always want to remember that. As I sit down to edit a few sessions, I chuckle to myself at where it all began. It began with just an inkling. A tiny powershot camera that sparked my interest. It began with a family simply asking, and a “yes” in return. It continued with more asks and more yeses, and it blossomed into now.

I’m grateful for beginnings, because they point to the endings. And this journey is nowhere near ending!