I’m sure you’ve all been dyyyyying to know what caused me to pick up a camera at the ripe juicy age of seven. No? You haven’t? Well, I’m going to share anyway because maybe my journey will encourage someone else to step out and get movin’ on a business of their own.
It all starts with a tiny girl in small town Colorado who was gifted a little red point and shoot camera for Christmas. I was seven, and the world was mine to capture. I took that camera with me everywhere and shot literally everything. My favorite things to photograph were nature scenes, something I still love to do and a direction I almost pursued instead of wedding photography! I grew up outside, and love to capture the details of the earth I love exploring.
some early Shiloe artsiness haha.
That camera eventually died, and life moved on. My family moved a LOT: we moved from Colorado to California, then Texas, then back to California, back to Texas, and finally to Washington, which is where we stayed for a while. In Texas, I got my first job and saved up every penny from that to buy a DSLR camera. I used that to photograph my sisters a lot, practicing a lot of lifestyle/adventure photography styles as we went on adventures of our own. That was fun. I loved it. Around that time I created an instagram account to post my photography on, like you do, and really just posted whatever the heck I wanted to. Lots of nature, like before, lots of my sisters, lots of friends. And that’s kind of where I stayed for years. And I mean years. Like five years.
some landscapes from 2017!
Within those five years, my family moved to Washington, and I eventually went to college there for a degree in outdoor recreation. I dabbled in photography but never consistently, struggling a lot with my identity as a creator and with the lack of drive to pursue something more than just an instagram account. During that time too, I went into a pretty deep pit of depression and anxiety. It was tough and I felt heavy all the time. I saw friends make it big with their photography, and I wanted that too. But I never felt good enough to push harder to make it happen. I never thought I was good enough.
Something else I’ve always struggled with is picking my thing. I love the outdoors (obviously, I have a degree in it), and have worked with summer camps and outdoor guiding companies for many years. I also love music, and can play a few instruments and wish I could play more. And I love creating art! I’m pretty good with my hands, making everything from canvas paintings, to macrame, to stories with words. I love writing. And I adore people. I love to know people’s stories and I love making them smile. I love a lot of things, obviously, and I’m honestly still figuring out how to tie all those into my life as those things really are ME, they just can’t all be the main thing.
So that’s where I let myself sit for a long time! Watching others pursue their dreams and do it well, while I waited for the right time to come. Finally, with a lot of pushing from my parents (thanks guys), and the realization that I couldn’t keep waiting for things to come together. I have a calling to create, in whatever capacity that means, and I can’t waste half my life waiting for the right time to come around. THIS year, I interned for a photographer for a few months, soaked in a ton of education, and really started to make things happen by attending content days and putting myself out there to second shoot or whatever else people needed. And it’s working! The biggest things I’ve learned are to be consistent with my creation and posting, and to find ways to be joyful in whatever I do. Also, to care less about what others think. I love what I do, and I can’t worry too much about how others see me because I’m serving people and the Lord and that’s all that matters.
happy lil yosemite bean :)))
I got married and moved to San Diego with my husband in September and am now pushing myself to hard to make my business something that can support our lil family (me, my husband, and our hedgehog crouton) so that we can bless others with what we’ve been given. I’m not perfect. I still struggle to feel worth it and to have passion for the things I do. I definitely get lazy. I still have that camera that I bought all those years ago.
I’m learning a lot of this by myself. But guys, there is so much learning in the journey. This is my ministry, this is how I can spread the love of Jesus wherever I go and I am so excited to have that blessing. And, get this! Not only is wedding and elopement photography a way to tie all of my favorite things into one (the outdoors, people, art, etc), but it also gives me the freedom to take days off to pursue my other passions!!
How cool is that?!
Life has truly been alllll over the place and there is so much more I could share (ask me about it sometime), but I just wanted to encourage you today that you can do it, that hard thing. You really can do whatever you put your mind to, and it is so worth it in the end.
What dreams do you need to start pursuing today?