I shouldn’t be a photographer.
That’s probably not what you expected to hear (especially if you’ve booked me for your wedding!), but it’s the truth. All my life, I knew that I was born to be a writer. While the other kids would watch TV with their parents or color pretty pictures, I was in my bedroom writing poems and short stories, or clipping articles from newspapers that I thought were interesting. In middle school, a poem I wrote in class won a national award, and my teachers held a little ceremony for me. And in high school, I acomplished one of my biggest goals by securing a job at the school newspaper after several failed attempts to be good at volleyball. Writing, back then was everything to me.
My love for it continued into college, where I entered as a freshman into the journalism program at UW-Oshkosh. I soon earned a paid spot on their student newspaper and, soon after that, realized that newspaper writing was not for me. I knew that I still had a love for writing, but who I wanted to write for was different. My new dream was to write for corporations, and I found my calling in public relations.
Once I discovered this form of writing, my dreams exploded again, and I was able secure five different internships at major corporations before graduating with my bachelor’s degree. Through connections I made in those positions, I met a woman who worked for the Green Bay Packers, and, meeting my ultimate dream goal, I beat more than 500 applicants to receive a post-grad internship position in public relations with the Packers. I had the time of my life during the 2.5 years that I worked for the greatest franchise in the NFL, and I was able to really put my writing skills to use.
But, here’s the kicker. It was during my time with the team that I was handed a DSLR camera and asked to photograph team events. Now, being the perfectionist that I am, and knowing nothing about taking photos on a “real” camera, I knew that I needed to learn — and fast. SO, I started taking classes online and absorbing every bit of information that I could. Once I started, I couldn’t stop! After several classes, practice shoots, hundreds of books read, business consultations, and upgraded gear, my journey to today has not been an easy one. But here we are four years later. I’ve photographed more than 50 weddings in some really awesome destinations and started a business that I can honestly say I’m proud of. All because someone asked me to photograph some football players.
So really, there’s no reason that I should be a photographer. In fact, there were probably hundreds of factors playing against me. What I always say is that photography found me, not the other way around. It may not be what I had planned, but there’s not a day that passes when I’m not super thankful that this is what was planned for me.