At 14, my parents gifted me with a Canon Powershot camera. Ah, the days of the beloved macro setting and nature pictures! I always had my small camera on hand, and was obsessed with experimenting. Fast forward two years, and my excitement for photography grew. I received my first DSLR for my 16th birthday (even though I peeked at my gifts a few days before….sorry, Mum and Dad) and was beyond myself! The obsession with nature photographs continued, and a small dream of working for National Geographic entered my head.
I graduated high school and moved to Samford University, where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication in May 2015. College provided me with so much more than just a formal education. As I heavily invested in the A Cappella Choir, friendships, organizations and creative outlets, I was educated on how to grow friendships, how to live by myself, which skills to hone and where my priorities lay. Being immersed in artistic endeavours grew my love for light, writing, music and, ultimately, photography.
First visit to Samford, 2009.
A month into my first semester at Samford, I received an email from a family in Fayetteville, asking me to take their family portraits. “Me?” I thought. “Why do they want me to take them?”
I captured that family’s portraits – that family who took a gamble in hiring me. That family that lifted this love off the ground and gave it the beginnings of a portfolio. That family who made me keep wanting to photograph….again and again. That family that loved God, the author of my story. The God who put clients in my path. The God who gave me opportunities, cultivated my passion and held my hand in every season.
The first two years out of college, I worked at my beloved alma mater in marketing. Work was fast-paced, and I learned more than I could have imagined…managing social media outlets and interns (shoutout to Tay, Brie and Kara!), writing hundreds of emails for prospective students, designing anything from postcards to golf cart decals, scheduling 17-hour-day photoshoots and everything in between! I learned where my passion truly was, and on December 20 I turned in all my documents and Samford-related belongings and took a leap.
While the idea of being a National Geographic photographer interests me no more, I’m grateful for how the Lord turns the tide. Proverbs 21:1 reminds me, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.” If the Lord wills, it happens. There is nothing we can do to thwart His will, and for that I’m thankful!
Catch the next blog post for the last part of this little blog series. I’m having so much fun sharing my story with you, friends.