The Beginning

I have always loved taking pictures, by the thousands. Thank goodness for the digital age because I’d be completely broke if I had to buy film and have every photo developed.  For the last several years I have wondered if becoming a photographer was something I should try. If it was something I could do successfully.

My first shoot was in 2009 for a neighboring family and quite honestly I did not do a very nice job. At one point there was a plastic blue baby pool and a big brown base garbage can in the background! I knew nothing of posing,  lighting or the settings on my camera – which was a very simple point and shoot Canon that I eventually dropped into the East China Sea by accident. However, I do remember really enjoying taking their photos.

Dropping my carmera turned out to be a good thing. In 2011 I was days away from giving birth to our daughter and I needed a camera. An impulse buy led me to buy my first decent camera, a Sony Cyber-shot. I still didn’t really learn anything outside of shooting in the green automatic mode, but slowly I started googling tips for lighting and outdoor photography to improve the photos I took each year for our Christmas card – because I was too cheap to pay a real photographer.

At the end of 2015 an old friend came to visit in Okinawa for his photography project, Veteran Vision Project. He came to our home for a photo shoot with my husband and we talked a little about the Christmas photos I had on the wall. Devin Mitchell is an amazing man and an equally amazing photographer by the way. I highly recommend checking out his work and if you ever have the chance to work with him or have him shoot you, jump at that chance.

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Photo by Devin Mitchell, Veterans Vision Project

Hearing Devin’s opinion sparked my buried thoughts of becoming a photographer. A few days later I saw a post on Facebook regarding a course offered through Auburn University, a  Photography Entrepreneur course. A few days after that an online forum that I frequent started a photography sub board. Thanks to that board I started to really play with my camera and the spark started to blow up.

What finally pushed me over the edge was a tragedy. A dear cousins child ended up in the hospital and the prognosis was not good. It caused me to remember an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and I realized that I wanted to be someone who could provide that service for families dealing with tragedy. So baby Guardian, I pray for you and I also thank you for inspiring me to move forward with my photography.

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Photo curtesy of Garrett & Meagan Moldrem


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